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Ernest Hemingway was born in July on the cusp of the 20th century, and the summer month would prove to be a pivotal time for the writer throughout his life. Here are some key July moments in the Hemingway timeline:

July 21, 1899 – Hemingway made his debut in Oak Park, Illinois, a middle-class Chicago suburb where he spent the first 18 years of his life. He
spent his early childhood years in a grand turreted, Queen Anne-style home, now the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum.

July 1918 – While driving an ambulance for the Red Cross on the Italian front lines during World War I, 18-year-old Hemingway was seriously
wounded by mortar fire. His shrapnel wounds were tended to by a nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky, with whom he fell in love. Their relationship inspired his novel about a doomed wartime romance, A Farewell to Arms.

July 1923 – The insatiable traveler attended his first bullfight during Pamplona’s legendary running of the bulls, returning nearly every year for the rest of the decade to witness the death-defying spectacle. His Spanish sojourns inspired his 1925 novel The Sun Also Rises, which takes place during the annual Fiesta of San Fermin and follows a dissolute band of expats who spend their days drinking brandy and absinthe at Café Iruna. (A statue of Hemingway at the bar at Café Iruña is in the photo above.)

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350 years ago this week, Samuel Pepys, a member of the English Parliament and a naval administrator, began keeping his now-famous diary. He started his chronicle on January 1, 1660, writing: “Blessed be God, at the end of the last year I was in very good health, without any sense of my old pain, but upon taking of cold…. My own private condition very handsome, and esteemed rich, but indeed very poor; besides my goods of my house, and my office, which at present is somewhat uncertain.” (The full text is available at

Pepys’ diary includes accounts of major events of the era, such as the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of London in 1666. The diarist is thought to have watched the city burn from the Anchor pub (34 Park Street ; 44 207 407 1577) on the south side of the River Thames. “When we could endure no more upon the water, we [went] to a little alehouse on the Bankside…and there staid till it was dark almost and saw the fire grow,” recalled Pepys.

Still serving pints to thirsty travelers and locals alike, The Anchor has a prime riverside location next to Shakespeare’s revitalized Globe Theatre. A sprawling beer garden offers patrons spectacular views of the City of London and the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

[Photo of The Anchor: ©Flickr/Ewan-M]

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Nighttime browsing before meeting up with my book group. Or, holiday shopping for me. 🎁 #strandbookskiosk #bryantpark #wintervillage #nyc #booksofig #bookstagram #bookstores
“My mother in Princeton got a cable from me, saying simply: ‘Opening bookshop in Paris. Please send money,’ and she sent me all her savings.” 📚 Using the capital from her super-supportive mother, Sylvia Beach opened Shakespeare & Company, a bookshop and lending library, in Paris on November 19, 1919. Located on the Left Bank’s rue Dupuytren and then in larger quarters on the rue de l’Odéon, the shop quickly became a popular gathering place for expatriate writers like Ezra Pound, Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway, who declared himself Beach’s “best customer.” Here Beach fostered literary talent, floated the occasional loan, and in 1922 published James Joyce’s controversial novel ULYSSES at her own expense. (Hemingway helped smuggle the book into the United States, where it was banned.) In SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY, one of my favorite memoirs, Beach shares her fascinating and unique story along with a trove of anecdotes about her famous patrons. 📚 Beach closed up shop in 1941, after a confrontation with a Nazi officer, whom she wouldn’t allow to buy a copy of FINNEGAN’S WAKE he spied in the window. She later granted the right to use the name Shakespeare & Company to fellow American George Whitman, whose shop at 37 rue de la Bûcherie still thrives today and is— just as Beach’s once was—a beacon for book lovers. 📚 #sylviabeach #shakespeareandcompany #100thanniversary #memoir #paris #literarylandmarks #noveldestinations #booksofig #igreads #bookstagram #favoritebooks #chocopain #hobokenlove
What a tease. Walking up Broadway in NYC, I passed by Westsider Books but couldn’t stop for more than a couple of minutes because I had to get to an appointment. I’ll definitely be back to take my time perusing the stacks here. In the meantime, my imagination is working overtime at the thought of what I might find. I’m dreaming of adding some vintage Jane Austens to my shelf. #magicplaces #bookstores #possibilities #westsiderbooks #bookstoresofinstagram #literarytravel #noveldestinations #nyc #nycbookstores

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