Gardner believed in love. She had little faith in her ability as an actress or a star; at each casting, it was said that she always thought they had the wrong girl. She could love well, however, no matter how formidable the object of her affection. Yet as each of her men worked his way through her heart, he also wore her down a little bit, until like Lady Brett Ashley, Gardner learned to cover her old wounds and aching heart with a sort of brash independence that held men at bay. Love in the abstract or the past tense became her ideal.
--Cary Randolph Fuller, for RL Magazine's "A Heroine for Hemingway"