On May 23, 1918 Hemingway sailed to Europe to drive an ambulance for the Red Cross in Italy. Five weeks after arriving, he was badly wounded. While hospitalized, he falls in love with his nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky who is seven years his senior. The two plan to marry when both return to the States. However, Agnes was soon transferred to Torre di Mosto, where she met and fell in love with an Italian officer named Domenico Caracciolo. On March 7, 1919 she mailed Hemingway his “Dear Ernest” letter.
PHOTOGRAPH: JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM