A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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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 Elsie CatherSeptember 5, [1934?]UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Appreciates wonderful, reassuring letter, which answered her questions about Dr. Creighton and Bess.  Feels overwhelmed by good news of Bess.  Will Elsie please take a good stock of food out there from Mrs. Burden's store so that Mrs. Kourtner can cook.  Buy them new bedding or furniture if they need it.  Is enclosing a check for forty dollars to assist with property taxes. Hopes Elsie will give Kitty work; will help her and Elsie both.  Is as pleased as the Bishop that Elsie saved the trees at the church. Bishop is an impressive man.  If West Virginia is to be at the University of Chicago, why doesn't Elsie go there for Christmas and enjoy some shows and music?  She herself always stays at the La Salle hotel. Is amazed that though she is so busy Elsie had the house painted, but a good time to do it with labor and materials cheap.  Nebraska climate always hard, but Michigan, Wisconsin, and even England are very hot and dry now.  Grand Manan seems to be the only cool place left.  Wishes she could bring Red Cloud in its entirety there for a week.  Friend of J. M. Barrie wrote to ask that she inscribe a book to Barrie, since he often reads Death Comes for the Archbishop and My Antonia.  Hard to know how to write such an inscription; he would not be pleased by anything reeking of flattery.  Would rather write a book than this, but has to do it.  Elsie should take it easy and rest after the heat of the summer.   Willie 

To Elsie CatherSeptember 21, 1940UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Knows a lot about the young Queen [Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother] discussed in enclosed article. The queen is friends with Myra Hess and Anita Gunn. The Queen's father is a poor Scottish landowner, and another daughter of a poor Scottish landowner, Lady Dolly Mackenzie, married into the Hambourg family and is very economical. Anita Gunn was raised on a farm that adjoined the Queen's before there was any thought that she would be Queen. The royal family summered in the Scottish Highlands and George [George VI, Albert Frederick Arthur George Windsor] liked to play tennis with Elizabeth. As Duke of York he had no hope of ascending the throne, so could marry a poor girl. Queen Mary [Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes, Princess of Teck], being Scottish, did not object. Elizabeth a natural queen. She did lovely things in Canada; ordinary people are full of stories about her visit. Had heard a great deal about her from Myra and Anita Gunn, so was not taken by surprise. 

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