The title is taken from a poem by the 16th-century English dramatist George Peele.
The novel, set against the backdrop of World War I, describes a love affair between the expatriate Henry and an English nurse, Catherine Barkley.
The newly published edition presents an appendix with the many alternate endings Hemingway wrote for the novel in addition to pieces from early draft manuscripts.
One of the possible titles Hemingway considered was In Another Country and Besides. Eliot also starts off by quoting this Marlowe work: "Thou hast committed/ Fornication: but that was in another country,/ And besides, the wench is dead." Hemingway's library included both works by Eliot and Marlowe.
The 1996 film In Love and War, directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Chris O'Donnell and Sandra Bullock, depicts Hemingway's life in Italy as an ambulance driver in the events prior to his writing of A Farewell to Arms.
The novel is divided into five sections or 'books'.In the third book, Frederic returns to his unit and discovers morale has severely dropped.Not long afterwards, the Austro-Hungarians break through the Italian lines in the Battle of Caporetto, and the Italians retreat.Catherine begins to hemorrhage and soon dies, leaving Frederic to return to their hotel in the rain.The novel was based on Hemingway's own experiences serving in the Italian campaigns during the First World War.There is considerable delay and chaos on the road during the retreat and Frederic, wishing to avoid a possible aerial attack while stuck en route, decides to take an alternate path.He and his men quickly get lost and their cars are stuck in the mud, after which a frustrated Frederic kills a sergeant for insubordination.Its publication ensured Hemingway's place as a modern American writer of considerable stature.The novel has been adapted a number of times, initially for the stage in 1930; as a film in 1932 and again in 1957, and as a three-part television miniseries in 1966.Because his previous novel, The Sun Also Rises, had been written as a roman à clef, readers assumed A Farewell to Arms to be autobiographical.The Hemingway Library Edition was released in July 2012, with a dust jacket facsimile of the first edition.