A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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Results 11-20:

To Mabel Dodge LuhanAug. 7, [1925], from DenverBeinecke 

Were delayed at Lamy for three days because of flooding at Trinidad. Delayed at New Laguna [the new pueblo of Laguna was built by religious traditionalists after the original Laguna was successfully evangelized by Christians] for three days before a driver would take them to Acoma. Raining every afternoon. Have been in Denver since July 31. Mother is there and going to theater and for rides. Going to Red Cloud August 12, then to Grand Manan. [Continuation Aug. 8] Letter sent to New York has been forwarded. Liked the quotation from Plotinus [Roman comic playwright] but doesn't know who he is. Likes how first volume of memoir is developing. Weeks at Taos were memorable. Brother and family have arrived. P.S.: Edith Lewis went back to New York on Monday the 3rd.  Willa Cather   [Stout #792]


To Zoë AkinsJuly 4, [1926?], from DenverHuntington 

Sorry to have missed her; certainly did not mind visit by Jobyna. Has enjoyed time in New Mexico. Is going to Red Cloud now because of her mother's health. Glad the two plays are working out well.   W. S. C.   [Stout #841]


To Father Malone,  n.d. [prob. Jan. 1928; replying to letter from Malone dated Dec. 1, 1927] , from Red Cloud, Nebr.UVa 

Thanks for his note about the book. Got a sense of the two priests from Howlett's book on Machebeuf. May be in Denver later in the winter. Appreciates the clergy's general willingness to overlook errors in details.   Willa Cather   [Stout #920]


To Charles McAllister Wilcox [in Denver, Colo.]Aug. 10, [1931], from Grand MananUVa 

Glad secretary sent his letter on to her. Quite willing for him to see her letter to Father Malone. Please give him her regards. Historians of Quebec say new book is accurate.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1067]


To Blanche KnopfDec. 16, [1931], from Red Cloud, Nebr.HRC 

Has gotten the house cleaned and a new roof on. Former maid now living in Colorado has come to help. Please send two copies of Shadows on the Rock, one of the Modern Library Archbishop, and one of Red Bread, book about Russia, to give for Christmas presents. Brothers and sisters arriving next week.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1089]


To Laura HillsDec. 29, [1942]PM 

Very happy to receive her letter. Dr. Ober's brace cured the damaged tendon in her right thumb, after ten months of having no use of it. Even slept in the brace. Likes her "Hurricane" picture a great deal. Misses niece Mary Virginia, with her husband at an Army camp in Colorado, but enjoys her nice letters. She and Edith Lewis have no maid at present, so she spends most of her working time in the kitchen.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1607]


To Elsie CatherAugust 31, [1936]UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Appreciated letter, which keeps her connected to Red Cloud.  Worries about the town when reading about weather in Omaha, Kansas City, and Denver in the New York HeraldPauline and Lydia Lambrecht write that all the old settlers are moving out.  Thankful this didn't happen while father was alive.  All the world is troubled—Spain, for instance.  Food prices are causing hardships in Paris, and the Hambourgs having a difficult time.  Even Grand Manan is having poor weather that has aggravated her rheumatic shoulder.  Edith has boils from a black-fly bite.  Both have felt lethargic since the twins left, and she is not working.  Is putting off writing to Carrie, who will have a hard time with Margie's death.  Many difficult things now.  Should have been easier with mother and father, but one must fight hard when young.  Appreciates Elsie's caring for cemetery lot and encloses a check for $25, twenty for the upkeep of the lot and five for the Church Guild.  Much love.    Willie 


To Isabelle McClungSeptember 12, 1914, postcard with picture of the Spanish Peaks near Trinidad, ColoradoUNL-Rosowski Cather 
Image of postcard with picture of the Spanish Peaks near Trinidad, Colorado
Front of postcard #1890

Will be out of touch for two days, but no cause for concern. Is doing well in a beautiful place.   W. 


To Charles F. Cather [summer 1916?] , from Brown Palace Hotel, Denver, ColoradoUNL-Rosowski Cather 

Spent a comfortable, cool night on the train. Though it is hot in Denver, the elevation keeps it from being as stifling as Nebraska. Had a wonderful time with them in Red Cloud, though. Please send check to the La Salle Hotel in Chicago, where she will arrive on Monday. Edith will get whatever money Cather has on hand because she needs it after shopping in Denver, so is counting on check in Chicago. Father should know, in case she in Edith are ever in an accident, where important papers are—in safety deposit box 7032 in Garfield National Bank, 5th Ave. and 23rd St., New York. Isabelle (Mrs. Jan Hambourg) is the executor. Appreciates his constant kindheartedness with her and her friends, despite her occasional moodiness. Thinks each visit is a testament to their good luck, both in prosperity and in good health. PS: Isabelle's relationships with publishers make her the best choice for executor.  Willie 


To Douglass CatherJuly 8, 1916, from Taos, NM on letterhead of the Brown Palace Hotel, Denver, CO; ; UNL-Southwick 

Has returned to Taos with Edith after days in the heat of Denver. Taos has very mild evenings and only brief periods of heat during the day. Fine horses are available; Edith is an accomplished rider, and Cather can get along well enough to handle irregular terrain. Is Douglass still coming north this July? How far? To Albuquerque? If it is possible to see him, would like to, but otherwise won't travel far, though if Edith is up to it they might drive near Española around the Rio Grande pueblos. Edith has to return to New York by July 25, and her holiday, though fascinating, has not been relaxing. When she leaves, Cather might travel to Lander, and will get to Red Cloud as some point. Hopes to convince mother to spend some time in Denver with her, since Elsie reports that she isn't in good health. Would like to be in Red Cloud for several weeks, but won't do it if no one wants her around. Regrets coming home the previous summer. Her very being seemed to annoy everyone. Douglass shouldn't think her too smug, it's just that writers have to promote themselves or forget about it. Doesn't self-promote near as much as most. Doesn't believe it would do family any good for her to give up, though quitting is tempting sometimes. Had a difficult winter and wrote very little, just two short stories [possibly "The Bookkeeper's Wife" and "The Diamond Mine"], and one of them was really weak. The death of Judge McClung and the marriage of Isabelle were big blows and gave her the unsettling sense of losing a home. Will survive, but is not too enthusiastic. Maybe going on trying after losing interest is a sign of character. Doesn't want to dwell on depressing facts, though. Why can't she and Douglass have fun together more? Yes, is difficult to be around, but any woman who has made good money in a business is difficult and she's no different. Nevertheless, the two of them still ought to enjoy one another's company, as they did in Denver the year before. Likes Douglass more than nearly everyone else, except when he's grumpy; and when he's grumpy, will just leave and accept it with detachment. Will, however, relish all positive feelings from her family, all of whom she likes very much, even more so now than when she was young and tried to change everybody. Still tends to believe in her own way of thinking first, but now tempers it with the knowledge of past errors. Has mellowed since last year. Three close friends died [?], and the family's displeasure last summer may have helped too. Is drained of spirit now--but that's bad for writing. Will probably never write well again. One needs to be transfixed with the material to write well. Hopes at least to be able to support herself still. Two stories were rejected recently for being dull, and the editors were right. Please plan on meeting somewhere—really has gotten more easy going.   Willie 


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