Agnes von Kurowsky

Nurse, Author

1892 – 1984

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Who was Agnes von Kurowsky?

Agnes von Kurowsky Stanfield was an American nurse who inspired the character "Catherine Barkley" in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms.

Kurowsky served as a nurse in an American Red Cross hospital in Milan during World War I. One of her patients was the 19-year-old Hemingway, who fell in love with her. By the time of his release and return to the United States in January 1919, Kurowsky and Hemingway planned to marry within a few months in America. However, in March she wrote that she had become engaged to an Italian officer. Although Kurowsky did eventually return to the United States, they never met again. Their story is shown in the 1996 film In Love and War.

Hemingway used his experiences in Italy as the basis for ten short stories. Fictionalized characters based on Kurowsky appear in his short stories A Very Short Story and The Snows of Kilimanjaro, as well as his novel A Farewell to Arms.

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Jan 5, 1892
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • New York City
Sep 25, 1984

on July 23, 2013


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