Farewell to Arms

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A Farewell to Arms is a novel written by Ernest Hemingway set during the Italian campaign of World War I. The book, published in 1929, is a first-person account of American Frederic Henry, serving as a Lieutenant ("Tenente") in the ambulance corps of the Italian Army. The title is taken from a poem by 16th-century English dramatist George Peele.[1] A Farewell to Arms focuses on a romance between Henry and a British nurse, Catherine Barkley, against the backdrop of World War I, cynical soldiers, fighting and the displacement of populations. The publication of this, Hemingway's bleakest novel, cemented his stature as a modern American writer,[2] became his first best-seller, and is described by biographer Michael Reynolds as "the premier American war novel from that debacle [World War I]".[3] The novel was first adapted to film in 1932, with further versions in the following decades.[4] -------------------------------------------------

Plot summary
The novel is divided into five books. In the first book, Rinaldi introduces Henry to Catherine Barkley; Henry attempts to seduce her, and their relationship begins. While on the Italian front, Henry is wounded in the knee by a mortar shell and sent to a hospital in Milan. The second book shows the growth of Henry and Catherine's relationship as they spend time together in Milan over the summer. Henry falls in love with Catherine and, by the time he is healed, Catherine is three months pregnant. In the third book, Henry returns to his unit, but not long afterwards the Austrians break through the Italian lines in the Battle of Caporetto, and the Italians retreat. Henry kills an engineering sergeant for insubordination. After falling behind and catching up again, Henry is taken to a place by the "battle police", where officers are being interrogated and executed for the "treachery" that supposedly led to the Italian defeat. However, after seeing and hearing that everyone interrogated is killed, Henry escapes by jumping into a river. In the fourth book, Catherine and Henry reunite and flee to Switzerland in a rowboat. In the final book, Henry and Catherine live a quiet life in the mountains until she goes into labor. After a long and painful birth, their son is stillborn. Catherine begins to hemorrhage and soon dies, leaving Henry to return to their hotel in the rain. -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Censorship
In early editions, the words "shit", "fuck", and "cocksucker" were replaced with dashes (-)(-).[5] There are at least two copies of the first edition in which Hemingway re-inserted the censored text by hand, so as to provide a corrected text. One of these copies was presented to Maurice Coindreau; the other, to James Joyce.[5] Hemingway's corrected text has not been incorporated into modern published editions of the novel. -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Autobiographical details
The novel was based on Hemingway's own experiences serving in the Italian campaigns during the First World War. The inspiration for Catherine Barkley was Agnes von Kurowsky, a real nurse who cared for Hemingway in a hospital in Milan after he had been wounded. He had planned to marry her but she spurned his love when he returned to America.[6] Kitty Cannell, a Paris-based fashion correspondent, became Helen Ferguson. The unnamed priest was based on Don Giuseppe Bianchi, the priest of the 69th and 70th regiments of the Brigata Ancona. Although the sources for Rinaldi are unknown, the character had already appeared in In Our Time. Biographer Reynolds, however, writes in "Ernest Hemingway, 1899–1961: A Brief Biography", that Hemingway was not involved in the battles described but that because his previous novel, The Sun Also Rises, was written as a roman a clef, readers assumed A Farewell to Arms to be autobiographical.[3] -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Publication history
Some pieces of the novel were written in Piggott,...
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