007 Book location: Historical monument Hemingway House / Licence to Kill (1989)

007 Book location: Historical monument Hemingway House / Licence to Kill (1989)

November 22, 2021 0 By 007 Travelers

Bond book: Licence to Kill (1989)
Actual place and location: The Hemingway Home & Museum, 907 Whitehead Street, Key West, USA
What happens here in the book: Bond meets his boss M here

“He looked up and realised where he was. A gate which led into a pleasantly laid-out garden, and behind this a house, with a balcony surrounding the whole of the second floor. There was a bust of Ernest Hemingway above the gate, and a sign which said ‘Historical Monument, Hemingway House. ’CLOSED’. So, he was at the famous place. On his previous visit to Key West he had planned to visit this house where Ernest Hemingway had lived from the early thirties until 1961, and where he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, Green Hills of Africa, and The Snows of Kilimanjaro, among many others. Someone had once told him that the Hemingway house had the saddest atmosphere he had ever encountered in any home.

‘Take no notice of the sign, sir. Just go straight in.’ The one in the grey suit was firm-voiced, and Bond now knew where he had seen him before. He even remembered the man’s name. The accent was very English.
He nodded and walked inside the garden, the newcomers flanking him, directing him around to the right. There were cats everywhere. Hemingway had loved cats and had some hybrid variety with extra toes.

“They led him past the swimming pool, where Hemingway had thrown down his last quarter into the wet cement, saying that was all he had left. They had left the quarter for all to see – though the infant son of an English author had secretly prised out the quarter on a visit. It turned out to have been minted in 1970.”

“Very gently, the pair of bodyguards – for that is what they were – led Bond up the flight of steps taking them up to the veranda. Even on this structure, Bond could feel the sorrow. Someone had been very unhappy here. He hoped he was not about to join in with the sense of despair which permeated the place.”

“His guards shouldered him to that part of the veranda which looked out on to the street – Whitehead Street. The man who stood there had not been so positioned when they entered the garden, but he was certainly there now, his back immediately recognisable.”

“From somewhere, maybe the church where Felix and Della had so happily married, a bell tolled once. Bond shrugged. He did not believe in omens. ‘Sir?’ he said to the man, who now turned to look at him with cold grey eyes. The two bodyguards seemed to nudge closer to Bond.

‘Well, Commander Bond, what have you got to say for yourself?’ M – the Chief of the Secret Service – asked. He looked furious, and his hands clenched and unclenched as though he was trying to keep his anger in check.”

John Gardner: “Licence to Kill” (1989)

On the backyard of the house is the cat sematary.

There are plates of deceased cats in the sematary. The one in top left hand corner belongs to cat named Marilyn Monroe (1986-2004). She was the cat that featured in “Licence to Kill” (1989) movie. Marilyn’s plate is sadly a little bit worn.

Marilyn Monroe cat in “Licence to Kill” movie
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq, LLC

Inside the house there is also a book shop and you can visit the room where Hemingway wrote his books while. Also inside there are movie posters of films based on Hemingway’s books or which have some sort of connection. We could not find “Licence to Kill” poster though…

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