The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories

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The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories
AuthorErnest Hemingway
CountryUnited States
GenreShort story collection
PublisherCharles Scribner's Sons
Publication date
Media typeBook
Preceded byTo Have and Have Not 
Followed byFor Whom the Bell Tolls 

The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories is an anthology of writings by Ernest Hemingway published by Scribner's on October 14, 1938.[1] It contains Hemingway's only full-length play, The Fifth Column, and 49 short stories.

Many of the stories included in the collection appear in other collections, including In Our Time, Men Without Women, Winner Take Nothing and The Snows of Kilimanjaro.


The Fifth Column is set during the Spanish Civil War. Its main character, Philip Rawlings, is an American-born secret agent for the Second Spanish Republic. The play was poorly received upon publication and has been overshadowed by many of the short stories in the anthology.[2]

The play was slated for production in 1938, but setbacks with the Broadway producers delayed production.[3] In 1940, a version of the play was produced on Broadway by the Theater Guild. This production was heavily edited by Benjamin Glazer with significant revisions to the script.[4] Hemingway disliked these changes and attempted to have his name removed from the production.[3] This production ran for 87 performances. The play wasn't professionally produced with Hemingway's original script until 2008 when Mint Theater Company staged the play.[5][4]

Among the short stories, the book includes Hemingway's previous volumes and added his latest published works "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber", "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", "The Capital of the World" and "Old Man at the Bridge" as well as his very first writing, "Up in Michigan".[6][7][8]


  1. ^ Oliver, p. 327
  2. ^ The Fifth Column and Forty-Nine Stories. The Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  3. ^ a b Kale, Verna (2008). "The Fifth Column: A Play by Ernest Hemingway (review)". The Hemingway Review. 27 (2): 131–134. doi:10.1353/hem.0.0010. ISSN 1548-4815.
  4. ^ a b Simonson, Robert (16 September 2007). "Sifting the Dustbin of Literary History". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Hampton, Wilborn (March 31, 2008). "Who Does This Playwright This He Is? Hemingway?". New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d "Up in Michigan", "Out of Season" and "My Old Man" had already appeared in Hemingway's privately published debut collection "Three Stories and Ten Poems". While "Up in Michigan" had not been reprinted, the latter two were included in In Our Time and were therefore listed at nrs. 17&19.
  7. ^ Mellow 1992, p. 472
  8. ^ Mellow 1992, p. 514