Hemingway places enliven his novels
Watertown, Conn. — Richard H. Lovelace, a teacher of English at Taft School here since 1949, combines his study of Ernest Hemingway with his hobby of travel to provide illustrated classroom lectures about the Nobel Prize novelist's works.
Mr. Lovelace describes the "Hemingway places" when he shows his classes colored slides of them on a screen. The scenes in the slides were photographed while on vacation trips with his wife in Spain, Italy, France, Yugoslavia, and Switzerland.
He has done advanced studies at the Universities of Exeter, Kent, Oxford, and Cambridge in England. He was a Fulbright Exchange teacher at Haileybury College in England.
When he discusses Hemingway's "For Whom The Bell Tolls," with his students of American literature, he shows pictures of several bridges in Spain which might have been models for the one that Hemingway described when he wrote the novel of the Spanish Civil War.
Mr. Lovelace projects on the screen scenes of the Escorial, the Spanish palace and royal mausoleum; mountains not far from Madrid, buldings in the capital, and Ronda, a picturesque village -- all described in "For Whom The Bell Tolls."
The teacher tells his classes that when Taft School began admitting girls, "A Farewell to Arms" was taken from the study list because the novel about combat with the Italian Army in World War I was considered too violent for girls.
In its place Mr. Lovelace now teaches "The Sun Also Rises, "which contains romantic episodes in France that appeal to girls.
He points out to the students that "most of what Hemingway wrote was autobiographical." With patient workmanship and a zest for life, Hemingway described experiences he witnessed or underwent in World War I, the Spanish Civil War, World War II, Florida fishing, and African hunting expeditions.
"A Farewell to Arms," regarded by many writers as the best novel on World War I, was based partly on Hemingway's experiences as an ambulance driver in an Italian infantry unit in northern Italy.