Orwell was familiar with Hemingway, who was already very famous by the 1920s. Mostly Orwell was quite scathing about Hemingway, because of his macho image.

Hemingway was relatively favourable towards the official Communists, did this contribute to Orwell's antipathy towards him? Did he ever read Hemingway's novel about the Spanish Civil War?

Did Hemingway read Orwell's book on the Spanish Civil War, Homage to Catalonia?

Did Hemingway read 1984 (obviously, after he had written For whom the bell tolls)?

Edit: I see from the Hemingway list below that Ernie owned three copies of Homage to Catalonia, including a first edition from 1938. I recall reading that only a few hundred copies were printed in '38 (HoC flopped as direct political pamphleteering) so this must have been a fairly rare first edition. Perhaps someone knows if Hemingway was the kind of man to collect books without reading them, or if he would have probably read what books he owned.

  • Why are you comparing For Whom the Bell Tolls with 1984 in particular? Surely Homage to Catalonia is a much more comparable Orwell book.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:22
  • Good point. I'll ptut that one in too.
    – Ne Mo
    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:26

1 Answer 1


I don't know if he read them, but Hemingway owned two copies of 1984, see this list (p 275) of his books, cataloged by the JFK library.

Here is a catalog of books Orwell owned at his death; it is not complete, and there are some books in it that are doubtful, so it can not be taken as any kind of proof, but there are no books by Hemingway in it.

  • @NeMo It says so in the introduction to the catalog: " This library contains 389 book that certainly belonged to Orwell and 134 that are questionable (noted as 'questionable' via tag and comment)."
    – andejons
    Feb 20, 2017 at 21:11

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