“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, mid-August, 1921, Virginia Hotel, 78 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois

Hadley Richardson, 29, visiting from St. Louis, feels that last night, at this posh hotel, for the first time, she “really got to know” her fiancé, free-lance journalist Ernest Hemingway, 22.

Virginia Hotel, Chicago, Illinois

Hadley and Ernest had only seen each other twice before they got engaged this spring. But they write lots of letters to each other. And her Ernesto writes great letters.

When she came to Chicago earlier this year to meet his parents, Hadley had to bring a chaperone. Now that they are engaged, she has booked herself into the Virginia Hotel.

Hadley’s sister, and quite a few of Ernest’s friends, don’t think this marriage is a good idea. But Hadley does. She has her own inheritance so doesn’t have to depend on her family’s good wishes.

Earlier this summer, she was trying to get Hemingway to tell her exactly how old he is and what exactly he did during the Great War. Hadley was putting together an announcement for their engagement party and told him to come up with

a magnificent lie about your age in case anyone is curious enough to inquire—also tell me what events I can brag of without being a perfect fool about you.”

Ernie says that he served in the Italian Army, and she is guessing that he turned at least 23 in July, when she gave him a typewriter for his birthday.

Ernest’s day job involves editing a house organ, but he is trying to sell enough of his free-lance work to support himself without that income. Earlier this year he had a piece published about the Dempsey-Carpentier fight, building on his knowledge of boxing, but his poetry is continually rejected. He has stopped sending poems to Poetry magazine, hoping he will fare better with The Dial. They often publish poems by his friend and mentor, successful novelist Sherwood Anderson, 44. But—no luck.

Despite Ernest’s evasiveness, and although he didn’t come to visit her in St. Louis as he promised last New Year’s Eve, Hadley is confident in his talent and is convinced that they are right for each other.

They were introduced at a party last fall by Ernest’s friend, advertising copywriter Y. Kenley Smith, 33, and Hadley’s friend, Smith’s sister Kate, 29. But Ernie hasn’t been getting on so well with Kenley these days. He and Hadley have decided that they are not going to move in with Smith and his wife after their wedding in a few weeks. And Kenley has been disinvited from the reception to be held at the Hemingway home in nearby Oak Park.

Hemingway family home, Oak Park, Illinois

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volume I, covering 1920, is available in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

This fall I will be talking about Writers’ Salons in Dublin and London Before the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, January, 1921, 100 East Chicago Street, Chicago, Illinois

Would-be novelist Ernest Hemingway, 21, currently working as editor of a house organ, has been hanging out here at “the Domicile” with a friend, Y. Kenley Smith, 33, who works at the Critchfield Advertising Agency. Smith has brought around one of the other Critchfield copywriters, Sherwood Anderson, 44, to meet Ernest.

Sherwood Anderson

Hemingway likes Anderson, and he’s pleasantly surprised that the feeling is mutual. But his fiancee, Hadley Richardson, 29, whom he regularly writes to in St. Louis, isn’t surprised at all.

Of course he likes you!”

she said.

Anderson, a bit older and a lot more experienced as a writer, has had short stories published in national magazines and just had a big success last year with his fourth book, Winesburg, Ohio, a collection of related stories about the residents of one town.

The young writer feels that he’s been learning a lot from the older novelist. He has introduced him to magazines such as The Dial, American Mercury, Poetry, and is turning Ernie on to contemporary writers such as Floyd Dell, 33, Waldo Frank, 31, Van Wyck Brooks, 35. All real American writers. Through Sherwood, Ernest has even met the Chicago poet, Carl Sandburg, just turned 43, who won a special Pulitzer Prize two years ago.

Carl Sandburg

Anderson has advised Hemingway to set aside a room just for writing, as Sherwood has done. Ernest is learning how to become a writer.

Anderson is tired of writing ad copy for tractors and hopes to soon be able to make a living as a full-time fiction writer. This summer, a benefactor has offered to finance his first trip to Europe. Sherwood just has to find the money to bring along his wife, Tennessee, 46.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series of books, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, very soon to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. Early this year I will be talking about Perkins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

My “Such Friends” presentations, The Founding of the Abbey Theatre and Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, are available to view for free on the website of PICT Classic Theatre.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, March 3, 1920, Casino Club, Chicago, Illinois

About six weeks in to his third American lecture tour, Irish poet William Butler Yeats, 54, is in Chicago, at a banquet given in his honor by Poetry:  A Magazine of Verse, and its founder-editor, Harriet Monroe, 59.

Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune interviewed him over the phone when the reporter woke him in his hotel room after midnight. Yeats was quoted as saying,

I like Chicago, but Prohibition’s hell, isn’t it?”

Meet-Mr-Yeats-William-Butler-Yeats-and-wife Chicago 1920

The Yeatses in the Chicago Tribune

Monroe had come right over to his room with

a flagon of…surcease for your sorrow…I read in the Tribune this morning of your unpreparedness.”

Harriet-Monroe

Harriet Monroe

Yeats’ talk at the banquet on “Poetic Drama” goes well. Arguing for smaller theatre companies and more intimate venues, he tells the crowd,

I am trying to create a form of poetical drama played by one company, all of whom could ride in one taxicab and carry their stage properties on the roof.”

Afterwards, back at the Auditorium Hotel, a group of reporters wake Yeats up and bring him down to their party in one of the private dining rooms. Willie perks up as soon as they offer him a glass of whiskey. And a second. And a third. His wife, Georgie, 27, soon shows up to drag him back to bed. On his way out, Yeats proclaims to the group,

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree…”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

In 2020 I will be talking about writers’ salons before and after the Great War in Ireland, England, France and America in the University of Pittsburgh’s Osher Lifelong Learning program.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins and his relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.