“Such Friends”:  100 years ago, late September, 1921, Monk’s House, Rodmell, East Sussex

Oh, what a damned bore!”

Virginia Woolf, 39, had written to a friend this past summer.

She had been ill—and not working—for so long.

But now that it is autumn, with lovely weather and long walks out here in the countryside, she is feeling better and writing better than before.

Monk’s House, Rodmell

Virginia and her husband, Leonard, 40, had recently bought a used platen machine for their expanding Hogarth Press, which they run out of their London home. Virginia’s short story collection, Monday or Tuesday, which they published earlier this year, is selling well. And she is now close to finishing her next novel, Jacob’s Room.

One of many interruptions this month was the visit this past weekend of their friend, poet Tom Eliot, just turning 33. Virginia hadn’t been looking forward to it. She had written to her sister, painter Vanessa Bell, 42,

I suppose you wdn’t come for the 24th? When Eliot will be here?”

But Vanessa wasn’t available.

His stay turned out to be uneventful. Lots of chat about writing and books. Virginia confides in her diary that Tom’s visit

passed off successfully…& yet I am so disappointed to find that I am no longer afraid of him—”

*****

Eliot hadn’t mentioned this to the Woolfs this past weekend, but he is looking forward to a visit to a London nerve specialist. His wife, Vivien, 33, has made the appointment for him because they have both agreed that his job at Lloyds Bank, a summer visit from his American family, and his work on a major poem, are all affecting his health. They may be moving out of hectic London soon and are hoping that an upcoming trip to Paris to visit fellow ex-pat American poet Ezra Pound, 36, might help. He and Pound are going to work together on editing the poem.

Vivien and Tom Eliot

Vivien writes to one of their friends, jokingly, that she is seeking help for Tom but hasn’t “nearly finished my own nervous breakdown yet.”

But Vivien has written a much longer letter to her brother-in-law, archaeologist Henry Ware Eliot, 41, just gone back home to St. Louis. Not joking, she confides that she knows her husband is not in love with her anymore. And Vivien adds a postscript,

Good-bye Henry…And be personal, you must be personal, or else it’s no good. Nothing’s any good.”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are 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.

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

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

“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, December, 1920, 1230 North State Street, Chicago, Illinois

Ernest Hemingway, 21, is settling in to his new job as editor—and primary writer—of Cooperative Commonwealth, the house organ of the Cooperative Society of America.

Ernie isn’t quite sure how the Society operates, but “cooperative” sounds good enough to him. And he gets $40 a week.

Although the job gets heavy around deadline, the rest of the time he can make his own schedule. Most days Hemingway comes home here for lunch and gets a lot of the copy writing done for the 100-page issue in the afternoon.

Today at lunch he has received a picture card from the St. Louis woman he met at a party a few months ago, Hadley Richardson, 29, inscribed on the back,

Most awfully lovingly, Ernestonio from your Hash. December, 1920.”

Hadley Richardson picture card

Ernest and his roommates, who work in advertising, all have ambition to become more than just hired hacks. Among their role models are “real” writers who are still doing some advertising copy to keep afloat.

For example, Sherwood Anderson, 44, had a huge hit last year with his first novel, Winesburg, Ohio, which scandalized middle America—including Ernest’s parents—with its frank discussions of sex. Anderson hasbeen contributing to Cooperative Commonwealth, and still does some work for his former ad agency, Critchfield.

Ernie and his fellow writers buy copies of radical magazines like The Little Review at their local bookstores, and know that their current writing for hire is a necessary evil until some major publisher recognizes their true talents for writing fiction.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, 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 next year I will be talking about Perkins, Hemingway and Fitzgerald in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

My “Such Friends” presentations, The Founding of the Abbey Theater 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, October, 1920, 100 East Chicago Street, Chicago, Illinois

This’ll be another great party.

Free-lance journalist Ernest Hemingway, 21, and his roommate are headed to their friends’ apartment—which they call “The Domicile”—for one of their regular Sunday parties.

Chicago, 1920

Ernest has had a really good year. It began with him entertaining a local women’s group with stories of his experiences and injuries in the Great War [he embellished them just a little]. He was so impressive that a wealthy couple hired him to live in their Toronto, Canada, mansion as a companion to their disabled teenaged son.

The kid was a bore. But through connections, Ernie managed to get a position writing for the Toronto Star Weekly magazine. And after some unsigned pieces of his were published, he finally got a byline! In “Taking a Chance for a Free Shave” by Ernest M. Hemingway he told the tale of his trip to a local barber college.

Even when he went for his usual trout fishing trip up in Michigan this past spring, he was still able to have bylined pieces most weeks in both the Star and the Chicago Tribune. His parents weren’t happy that Ernest had no plans, and after a raucous beach party at the family lake cottage last summer—the neighbors complained—his mother had thrown him out, hand delivering to him a lengthy, nasty letter which said in part,

Stop trading your handsome face to fool little gullible girls and neglecting your duties to God and your Saviour…Do not come back until your tongue has learned not to insult and shame your mother.”

A bit harsh.

Ernest Hemingway and friends at the lake in Michigan

Soon after, Hemingway went out one night with his last $6 in his pocket to a high class, although illegal, gambling house in Charlevoix, Michigan, and walked out at 2 am with $59 from the roulette tables. That was enough to keep him going without having to ask his parents for money. Ernie packed up some of his things from home and moved here to Chicago with a friend from his days when he served in the Red Cross ambulance corps in Italy during the War.

Hemingway is getting by with free-lance work; although his journalism is selling better than the short stories he’s been submitting.

As he walks into the apartment of advertising guy Y Kenley Smith, 32, Ernest sees a tall, auburn-haired woman across the room.

After striking up a conversation with Hadley Richardson, 28 [he lies to her about his age], he learns that she lives in St. Louis, plays the piano, and is here for a few weeks visiting Kenley’s sister. She reminds him a bit of the nurse who took care of him when he was injured in Italy, who was also a bit older than he was. But, despite a year at Bryn Mawr College, and a trip to Paris, “Hash” as her friends call her, seems a bit younger than her age.

When he leaves the party, Ernest knows that he really wants to go back to live in Europe. And he knows that he is going to marry Hadley Richardson.

Hadley Richardson

“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@gypsyteacher.com.

This fall I am talking about writers’ salons in Paris and New York after the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at University of Pittsburgh and 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 Kindle versions.

My “Such Friends” presentations, the Founding of the Abbey Theatre and Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table are available to view 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.