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Agnes von Kurowsky

Muse for Ernst Hemingway

Died when: 92 years 264 days (1112 months)
Star Sign: Capricorn


Agnes von Kurowsky

Agnes Hannah von Kurowsky Stanfield (January 5, 1892 – November 25, 1984) was an American nurse who inspired the character "Catherine Barkley" in Ernest Hemingway's 1929 novel A Farewell to Arms.

Kurowsky served as a nurse in an American Red Cross hospital in Milan during World War I.One of her patients was the 19-year-old Hemingway, who fell in love with her.

By the time of his release and return to the United States in January 1919, Kurowsky and Hemingway planned to marry within a few months in America.

However, in a letter dated March 7, 1919, she wrote to Hemingway, who was living at his parents home in Oak Park, Illinois, that she had become engaged to an Italian officer.

Although Kurowsky did eventually return to the United States, they never met again.Hemingway's son Jack called the loss of von Kurowsky "the great tragedy" of his father's early life.

Their story is shown in the 1996 film In Love and War.Hemingway used his experiences in Italy as the basis for ten short stories.

Fictionalized characters based on Kurowsky appear in his short stories "A Very Short Story" (1924) and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (1936), as well as his novel A Farewell to Arms.

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