Tuesday 24 April 2018

Mother of Behan's son who became a Hemingway wife

Ulick O'Connor tells why he chose not to reveal the secret of Brendan Behan's child in his biography

CONFESSIONS: Valerie Hemingway, daughter-in-law of the writer Ernest Hemingway
CONFESSIONS: Valerie Hemingway, daughter-in-law of the writer Ernest Hemingway

Recently, Valerie Hemingway, wife of Gregory Hemingway (son of the writer Ernest Hemingway), gave a fascinating talk at the RDS about her book Running with the Bulls, which is an account of her life with the Hemingway family. As a young woman, Valerie had been personal assistant and confidant of the famous writer Hemingway and accompanied him and his wife when they lived in Spain, France and Cuba.

I met Valerie in New York in the Seventies where she was most helpful to me. I discovered she was a Dublin girl, educated at Dominican College, Drumcondra. She had been a Newsweek researcher before I met her, but had since acquired the prestigious position of a public relations executive for Guinness-Harp, New York. She had important contacts, some of whom she was kind enough to put me in touch with. It was through her that I was invited to John Huston's 70th birthday party and placed at a table between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

In Running with the Bulls, Valerie gives an account of her relationship with Brendan Behan, by whom she had a son in New York in 1962.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss