Martha Gellhorn was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1908. A happy child, she enjoyed a liberal education and went on to study at Bryn Mawr (where she had a photograph of Hemingway tacked above her desk.) Martha travelled to Europe when she was twenty-one, where she wrote anything from articles on the Pacifist movement to copy for lipstick adverts.
In 1935, Martha travelled America where she found people living in squalor and near starvation, six years after the Wall Street Crash. Her testimonies of the deprivation she witnessed were published in fictional form as The Trouble I’ve Seen, a bestseller.
By the time she met Hemingway in Key West, Martha was held in high esteem by the literary and journalistic establishments. But by the age of twenty-eight, Martha had not yet discovered what would become her life’s work: war-reportage. Only after meeting Ernest would she travel across the world to Spain, where the Civil War was cleaving apart families and cities, and where she would make her name as one of the best war reporters of the twentieth century.
Click on ‘Older Posts’ to read more about Ernest’s marriage to Martha.