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Hemingway love letter to Dietrich for sale

Press Association logoPress Association 6 days ago By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

A letter in which writer Ernest Hemingway declares his love for actress Marlene Dietrich is going under the hammer.

Signed "Love, Mister Papa", Hemingway sent the letter on August 12 1952, a year after Dietrich had confessed to keeping the author's photograph by her bedside.

The pair became infatuated with each other after meeting in 1934, but did not consummate their love because, according to Hemingway, they were "victims of unsynchronised passion" and that each time one of them found themselves out of a relationship, the other was "submerged" with someone else.

In the letter, which is expected to fetch up to $US30,000 ($A39,576) in New York, Hemingway writes: "I always love you and admire you and I have all sorts of mixed up feelings about you".

Hemingway, who killed himself in 1961, declared that while "you are beautiful ... I am ugly".

"Please know I love you always and I forget you sometimes as I forget my heart beats. But it beats always."

Hemingway, who was married four times, penned the letter from Finca Vigia, the Cuban home where he wrote much of his most celebrated novels, including For Whom The Bell Tolls and The Old Man And The Sea.

The pair wrote many letters to each other over several decades.

While several are housed at the John F Kennedy library in Boston, some letters kept by Dietrich's grandchildren have gone under the hammer in recent years.

The letter will be auctioned at Swann Auction Galleries' autographs sale in New York on May 4.

Sale highlights also include three drafts of a lecture which author Arthur Conan Doyle delivered in 1894 and a signed draft of a statement, dated to around 1926, outlining his conception of spiritualism.

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