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    With an Affectionate Presentation Inscription by Hemingway to His Good Friend, Charles Sweeny

    Ernest Hemingway. For Whom the Bell Tolls. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940.

    First edition, first issue (with Scribner's "A" on the copyright page). Octavo. Inscribed and signed by Hemingway on the front free endpaper: "For Charley with / the same affection and the / same admiration as always / Ernest [slash]." With an additional lengthy inscription by Sweeny reading: "My dear Margaret. - / I am sure that if Ernest knew / you he would agree that you should / have this book. / Charles Sweeny." Sweeny's ownership signature and "Habana, 1940" on the front pastedown. [10], 1-471, [1, blank] pages.

    Publisher's beige cloth with black- and red-stamped spine and black-stamped front board. Fore-edge untrimmed; top edge stained brown. Soiling and toning to the cloth, especially along the spine. Corners bumped. Textblock somewhat toned, heavier at the endpapers. Internally clean. A very good copy with an intimate association.

    In the fall of 1922, the Toronto Star sent Ernest Hemingway to Constantinople to cover the war between Greece and Turkey. While there, the young correspondent "made a few acquaintances among the military personnel, pumping them for authoritative pronouncements on the probable course of events. One of the most talkative was a brusk, red-faced soldier of fortune named Colonel Charles Sweeny, who spoke like a man of the world and amazed Ernest with his grasp of military science and tactics" (Carlos Baker, Ernest Hemingway. A Life Story, pp. 97-98).

    The two men became fast and lifelong friends. Colonel Sweeny was a mercenary soldier who was purported to have fought in seven wars for five different countries. Both he and Hemingway found themselves in Spain during the Civil War there, a notable association considering the subject matter of For Whom the Bell Tolls.

    "[Hemingway's] Sundays that fall [1929] combined duty and pleasure -- Mass at St. Sulpice with Pauline, followed by the six-day bicycle races at the Velodrome d'Hiver. Colonel Charles Sweeny was his regular companion until he learned that the races were fixed and refused to go anymore" (Carlos Baker, Ernest Hemingway. A Life Story, p. 205).

    "[Charles Sweeny] has one of the most brilliant military brains I have ever known... Charley got into the Spanish war late and every time I would go from Paris he would come and help pack the rucksacks, get the tickets, look after everything that had to be done and then come down to the station and buy a supper with champagne...He's wonderful. But I would rather listen to him on military things than anybody I have ever known" (Ernest Hemingway, in a letter to Maxwell Perkins, February 1940, from Ernest Hemingway. Selected Letters, edited by Carlos Baker, pp. 501-502).

    "We are going to leave here Nov. 10 for Salt Lake City and shoot with friends there for a few days. Very nice people. They were up here with Charles Sweeny, very old pal and soldier in various armies, Venezuelan, against Castro, Mexican, with Madero, Foreign Legion, U.S., Morrocan [sic], R.A. F. We were together in Near East and in Spain and he is one of [my] very oldest friends" (Ernest Hemingway, in a letter to General Charles T. Lanham, November 2, 1946, from Ernest Hemingway. Selected Letters, edited by Carlos Baker, p. 612).

    "When Mary got back early in October [1949], Ernest was already talking of completing the novel [Across the River and Into the Trees] by November 1. All the time he had ever spent in Italy, he wrote Buck Lanham, was now 'paying off doubled and redoubled.' He said that his hero Cantwell was a composite portrait of three men: Charlie Sweeny, the former soldier of fortune; Lanham, the hard-driving West Pointer; and most of all himself as he might have been if he had turned to soldiering instead of writing" (Carlos Baker, Ernest Hemingway. A Life Story, p. 475).

    The friendship between Hemingway and Sweeny lasted for the rest of their lives. In fact, after Hemingway's death in 1961, Sweeny was named an honorary pallbearer at the great author's funeral. Col. Sweeny died two years later, at the age of 81.

    Hanneman A18a.


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