Martha Gellhorn

Literary Birthday – 8 November – Martha Gellhorn

Martha Gellhorn was born 8 November 1908 and died 15 February 1998.


  1. I know enough to know that no woman should ever marry a man who hated his mother.
  2. A broken heart is such a shabby thing, like poverty and failure and the incurable diseases which are also deforming. I hate it and am ashamed of it, and I must somehow repair this heart and put it back into its normal condition, as a tough somewhat scarred but operating organ.
  3. Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival.
  4. The only way I can pay back for what fate and society have handed me is to try, in minor totally useless ways, to make an angry sound against injustice. [Letter as quoted in Gellhorn: A Twentieth Century Life (2003)]
  5. Life is not long at all, never long enough, but days are very long indeed.
  6. Public opinion, though slow as lava, in the end forces governments towards more sanity, more justice. My heroes and heroines are all private citizens.
  7. I do not see myself as a footnote to someone else’s life.
  8. After a lifetime of war-watching, I see war as an endemic human disease, and governments are the carriers.
  9. The ends never justify the means because IT never ends.
  10. All politicians are bores and liars and fakes. I talk to people. (via)

Martha Gellhorn was an American novelist, travel writer, and journalist. She is considered one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century. She is the author of Travels with Myself and Another: A Memoir.  Gellhorn was Ernest Hemingway‘s third wife. The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism is named after her.

Source for image

Unknown photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 7th November 2017