Ernest Hemingway Marries Pauline Pfeiffer

Pauline Marie Pfeiffer (July 22, 1895 – October 21, 1951) was the second wife of the writer Ernest Hemingway.

She was born in Parkersburg, Iowa on July 22, 1895, moving to St. Louis in 1901 where she attended school at Academy of the Visitation from first grade until graduation. Although her family moved to Piggott, Arkansas, Pfeiffer stayed in Missouri to study at University of Missouri School of Journalism, graduating in 1918.

After working at newspapers in Cleveland and New York, Pfeiffer switched to magazines including Vanity Fair and Vogue. A move to Paris for Vogue led to her meeting Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson. Although the threesome were friends initially, Pfeiffer began to replace Richardson as Hemingway's romantic partner, eventually leading to a deal where Richardson agreed to a divorce if the two were still in love after a separation of 100 days.

Pfeiffer married Hemingway on May 10, 1927 but the match was difficult. She was wealthy and he was a best-selling author (The Sun Also Rises) with three books in print. Although they had two sons (Patrick and Gregory), Pfeiffer was often forced to choose between following Hemingway on his travels or minding her sons.

As anyone who's ever read A Moveable Feast knows, it's a vivid book, all about writing and being young in the Paris of the 1920s, a place then green-gold with promise. Hemingway writes generously about Ezra Pound and unkindly about Scott Fitzgerald and downright viciously about Gertrude Stein.

Some of Hemingway's very harshest passages are reserved for Pauline Pfeiffer, the rich woman who would become his second wife, whom he saw as deliberately destroying what he'd come to idealize as a wonderful first marriage to wife number one, Hadley. On the penultimate page of the original last chapter of A Moveable Feast, Hemingway wistfully writes of being temporarily reunited with Hadley after a dalliance with Pauline: "When I saw my wife again standing by the tracks as the train came in by the piled logs at the station, I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her."