Hadley Richardson was not expecting to live the life of a spinster at the age of 28. Even more unexpectedly so was what led her to this life. Her marriage to Earnest Hemingway that forever named Hadley his first wife. Hadley Richardson had several worthy traits; noted for her intelligence and quick wit, while still remaining a bit timid due to a dominating mother.
Attending a party in Chicago was where Richardson first laid eyes upon an arrogant, egotistical aristocrat, who just so happened to be Earnest Hemingway. Immediately following this meeting began their torrid affair and courtship. In less than a year the two were wed in 1921 and settled in to a minuscule apartment located off North Dearborn Street. They often spoke of moving to Paris and in December, of the same year, this vision came to be. In their cold, confined apartment Hemingway wrote his poetry and maintained a position as a staff writer for the Toronto Star (1920-1924) making a pittance pay. Hadley supported their family with her dwindling inheritance. This left them in conditions so poor they were unable to afford running water in their residence.
Their lineage extended by one as Hadley birthed their first child, John Hadley Nicanor "Jack" Hemingway, on October 10th, 1923. During this pregnancy Hadley and Earnest moved back to Toronto which left Hemingway in a foul mood for the duration of their time there. A few months after their son's birth they agreed to move back to Paris, at Hemingway's insistence. Back in Paris they developed an eclectic close knit group of friends including, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, Picasso and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
In June of 1925, Pauline Pfeiffer
became a personal friend of the family's, more so Hemingway's, accompanying them on different vacations and holidays. In 1926, Hadley began suspecting an affair as Pfeiffer and Hemingway traveled separately from Hadley and Jack, yet it was not until 1927 that they separated and ultimately divorced. Earnest could not choose between his loves and eventually Hadley no longer wanted to be an option decided upon. Earnest Hemingway regretted this decision and carried it with him for the rest of his life for he wrote in his novel A Movable Feast, "I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her!" This was the last of his writings before his death in 1961.