Signed book: Men Without Women. First Living Library edition, first printing. Cleveland: The World Publishing Company, 1946. Hardcover with dust jacket, 5 x 7.5, 164 pages. Signed and inscribed entirely in Hemingway’s hand on the first free end page in fountain pen, “To Helen Bamberger, with Christmas Greetings, from Charles Sweeny (and Ernest Hemingway).” Autographic condition: very fine. Book condition: VG+/VG-.
Hemingway first met Col. Charles Sweeny—a mercenary soldier who was said to have fought in seven wars for five different countries—in 1922 during the Greek-Turkish War. The two became fast, close, and lasting friends, and would often see each other in war zones, at the bicycle races in Paris, and on hunting expeditions and fishing trips. Later in life, they would sit and trade old war stories and compare their collections of battle scars. Hemingway wrote in a 1940 letter that Sweeny had ‘one of the most brilliant military brains I have ever known.’ A wonderful association between Hemingway’s life and work, as Men Without Women contained some of his most well-known short stories, including ‘Hills Like White Elephants’ and ‘The Killers.’