Green Hills of Africa (Family presentation copy, with reference to Mussolini)
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935. First edition. Inscribed by Hemingway to the cousin of Pauline Pfeiffer, his second wife: "To C. Leonard Pfeiffer with very best wishes from an old admirer of Mussolini (when he was in Trento with Cesare Battisti) to a younger admirer of Mussolini (now that he is invading Ethiopia) Ernest Hemingway." The book was published on October 25, 1935, the Italians invaded Ethiopia October 3, 1935, making it logical that the book was inscribed close to or just before the publication date.
Pauline and C. Loenard shared a paternal grandfather, Heinrich Pfeiffer of Bavaria, and were just a year apart in age. They became close while both lived and worked in New York, Pauline for the "New York Morning Telegraph" then later "Vanity Fair" and C. Leonard for the Warner-Hudnut Company with Uncle Gus who, incidentally, bankrolled the trip to Africa that was the basis for this book. Further, Hemingway's oldest son from his first marriage, Jack, and C. Loenard's son, George, shared an apartment together in San Francisco after Jack had dropped out of the University of Montana. Included is a signed letter of provenance from the grandson of C. Leonard and the son of George Pfeiffer.
Mussolini worked on a newspaper in Trento in 1909, "L'Avvenire del Lavatore," where he met and collaborated with another socialist, Cesare Battisti (who would later fight for the Italians, be captured by the Austrians and hanged as a traitor). Hemingway first met Mussolini in Milan in 1922 and interviewed him for a Toronto Daily Star article "Fascisti Party Half-Million." His conclusion in the article was that Mussolini was "a patriot above all things" and was not "the monster he [had] been pictured." A year later, in 1923, Hemingway's sympathy towards Mussolini had cooled and he was openly critical of him, making some pointed jabs in his article, "Mussolini, Europe's Prize Bluffer:" Despite Hemingway's vocal criticism of Mussolini and the banning from Italy of "A Farewell to Arms," Mussolini was an admirer of Hemingway's trophy kudu, brought back from his Tanganyika safari expedition in 1934. "Mussolini allegedly sent Hemingway a blank check for the kudu with instructions to fill in whatever amount he wished. Upon receiving it, Hemingway scrawled, 'Shoot your own' on the check and promptly sent it back." ("Il Duce and Papa" The American Magazine) Appropriately, that kudu hunt features prominently in the book and even the photo on the rear panel of the dust jacket shows Hemingway posing with his trophy kudu.
A Near Fine copy of the book, faded at the spine and along the board edges as is common, otherwise clean and tight. In a Very Good+ example of the first issue dust jacket with 7 lines of text in the green band (Grissom’s “A” jacket) also with fading to the spine and with minor wear at the extremities. Presentation copies for C. Leonard of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Fifth Column” have appeared in Christies auctions from the 1990s. Near Fine in Very Good + dust jacket. (Item #1024)