The dearest love of the writer Ernest Hemingway, his “guardian angel” in “A Farewell to Arms!”
Did you know that Agnes Hannah von Kurowsky Stanfield, the nurse who inspired the character Catherine Barkley in the novel “A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway, lived for two years in Romania, sent in a special mission by the Red Cross?
Then she returned to America and after another two years was sent to Haiti, where she held the position of director of the public health service.
After working as a librarian and archivist at the Washington Public Library, in 1914 she decided to attend nursing school she graduated in 1917. She then applied to the American Red Cross and in 1918 left for Europe for World War I.
At the Hospital in Milan, she met the so young Hemingway, who at only 19 decided that Agnes was his greatest love whom he would marry. The two fiances decided to marry in 1919, in America. Hemingway returned to prepare for their wedding, but shortly after Agnes announced to him that she was breaking off the engagement and that she was going to marry an Italian officer.
It seems that the beautiful Agnes remained Hemingway’s great love, and their separation had a huge impact on the entire life of the famous writer who always longed for the love they shared. Even one of Hemingway’s sons confirmed this, following his father’s confessions. Each of the two lovers had separate lives, with several marriages, but they never met again.
The love story between the beautiful nurse and the young writer generated many movies based on the novel “A Farewell to Arms”. The first movie (1932), starred Gary Cooper as Hemingway and Helen Hayes as Agnes. It was followed in 1957 by the movie produced by David O. Selznick, directed by Charles Vidor, and starring Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones. In 1966, British television produced a TV miniseries directed by Rex Tucker, starring Vanessa Redgrave and George Hamilton. The most recent version is “In Love and War” from 1996, with Sandra Bullock and Chris O’Donnell.