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A Farewell to Arms is a novel written by Ernest Hemingway set during the Italian campaign of World War I. The book, published in 1929, is a first-person account of American Frederic Henry, serving as a Lieutenant ("Tenente") in the ambulance corps of the Italian Army. The title is taken from a poem by 16th-century English dramatist George Peele.
A Farewell to Arms is about a love affair between the expatriate American Henry and Catherine Barkley against the backdrop of the First World War, cynical soldiers, fighting and the displacement of populations. The publication of A Farewell to Arms cemented his stature as a modern American writer, became his first best-seller, and is described by biographer Michael Reynolds as "the premier American war novel from that debacle World War I."
The novel was first adapted to stage by Laurence Stallings in 1930, then to film in 1932, with a 1957 remake. The 1996 film In Love and War, directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Sandra Bullock, depicts Hemingway's life in Italy as an ambulance driver in the events prior to his writing of A Farewell to Arms.
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