Martha Gellhorn, legend of war reporting, dies
PRIVILEGE TO BE A FRIEND
Rosie Boycott is a journalist and the first female editor of two national broadsheets. In 1971 she co-founded the influential feminist magazine Spare Rib, from 1992 to 1996 she edited the men's magazine Esquire. She is a former editor of The Independent, The Independent on Sunday and the Daily Express.
Tuesday 17 February 1998
Her accomplishments as a journalist have been well documented and rightly celebrated - Martha hungered after the truth and loathed social injustice. But as a friend she was without parallel, a pillar of support and a model of courage.
If you felt your life was falling apart, Martha could always be counted upon for inspiration. When my marriage was failing, she sent me a typically stern, two-line note. A woman alone has nothing to be ashamed of, she said, and to be a woman alone is far, far better than to be a woman trapped in a loveless marriage.
Martha herself had experienced two failed marriages, the first, of course, to Ernest Hemingway. She adored the company of clever young men and despised those she considered simpering fools. (Martha suffered fools very, very badly.) To be in her company was to be elevated into a special, rarefied world, one where love and loyalty were all.
I loved her like a mother and respected her like no other. I will miss her more than any words can say.
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