Why Ernest Hemingway Was Once Quarantined With His Wife And Mistress

Vowing to be with someone "in sickness and in health" is terribly romantic and all, but it leaves out the important in-betweeny, Schrodinger's Infectious Disease bit where you're not quite sure which one you are.

What we're saying is, quarantine is rough, and it can make you reconsider some things about your relationship. Like David Byrne, you may find yourself stuck in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife, asking yourself how you got here and, more importantly, how many more times you can let her cheat at Scrabble before you file for divorce.

But no matter how grating, exhausting, or awkward your government mandated anti-viral family time gets, it's unlikely that it will ever reach the heights of weirdness achieved by the Ernest Hemingway household in 1926. That, according to Town and Country, was when Hemingway received a telegram from his wife, Hadley, stating that she was to be quarantined with their whooping cough-infected son Bumby and that she was inviting Ernest's mistress to live with them.

To Have and Have Not your cake and eat it, too

The act of telling your significant other that their lover is coming over is a bold one, and there's a fifty-fifty chance that they'll either break several land speed records on their way home or relocate to a non-extradition country, never to be heard from again. In Hemingway's case, he chose the former, and by all accounts, had a lovely summer in Antibes with his kid, his wife, and his side piece. Once Bumby recovered, they all moved into a hotel together, they were happy forever, and nothing bad ever happened to Ernest Hemingway.

Except that the Hemingways' marriage fell apart the next year and Ernest married his mistress, whom he would later grow to despise to the point that he basically wrote her as a villain in his 1964 memoir, A Moveable Feast. Hadley went on to marry a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist named Paul Mowrer. Ernest married a total of four times and, according to Biography, appears to have cheated whenever the opportunity presented itself.