Hemingway guide to the stars found

Click to follow
A COLLECTION of notes by Ernest Hemingway which may form the basis for a new book nearly 40 years after his death are to be auctioned this month.

Entitled Hollywood Express, they are anecdotes and poems about Hollywood in the 1930s, with illustrations by Martha Gellhorn, one of Hemingway's four wives. They were written when he felt his friends were "selling out to Hollywood". The writings are thought to centre on such stars as Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Nelson Eddy.

The 100 pages of typewritten notes and annotations are in a pink cloth- covered folder and signed "Dr Ernest Hemingstein". It forms part of a large collection of Hemingway memorabilia, including photographs, letters and artefacts, to be sold on 30 September. Garth Denham, of Denham's auctioneers, Warnham, West Sussex, which is selling the collection, said it was probably the largest sale of Hemingway memorabilia.

"Hollywood Express is in the form of a collection of magazine articles that would perhaps have been brought together in book form afterwards. We believe it was never published. It was started in the 1930s and he added to it from time to time but for some reason he abandoned it. It may be that he felt its had lost its relevance after the war."

The collection was in a private museum in Spain belonging to Hemingway's godson, Jay Sicre. His father, Ricardo, a businessman, was a friend of the writer and the two would often go drinking with the rest of their friends, including the actress Ava Gardner, who was godmother to Jay. Hemingway, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, shot himself in 1961. One of his greatest books, For Whom the Bell Tolls, was inspired by his time as a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War.

Christopher Bigspey, a lecturer in American literature at the University of East Anglia,said it was difficult to assess the value of the notes. "Without having studied them it is hard to say whether they are a work of genius or just a collection of stuff that he wrote when he was drunk.

"Certainly he left a lot of material behind when he died and much of it has been published posthumously but it is possible that this was published during his lifetime in a magazine somewhere."

The collection also includes personal letters and signed photographs as well as signed copies of A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and To Have And Have Not.

The Remington typewriter Hemingway used during his time as a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War and never gave back is expected to fetch a high price. He lent it to Gardner, who used to write poetry at the home of Robert Graves in Majorca.

Hemingway later instructed her to give it to Jay, who was a school in Switzerland. The 250 lots that make up the auction have no reserve price. "It is impossible to value some of these things, which are so personal, and the family did not want to set a price," said Mr Denham.

"They just decided everything should reach a wider audience and we hope that a lot of museums will be interested so that it can go on public display somewhere."