A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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Results 11-20:

To Zoë AkinsMay 20, [1939?]Huntington 

Was ill with influenza from February until end of April. Was in Atlantic City in March, but it rained all the time. Only cheerful spot of entire winter was the presence of Yehudi Menuhin and his wife. Can't get over loss of Douglass and Isabelle. Has been too ill and glum to work. Hasn't even been writing letters. Failed to thank her for the nice cutting board; will keep it at Grand Manan. Wishes to be back at Bank Street and Zoë on Fifth Avenue. P.S.: The current state of the world casts a cloud over everything.  Willa   [Stout #1452]


To Carrie Miner SherwoodJune 28, 1939WCPM 

Is sending a book she meant to send at Christmas, about several modern writers [apparently including herself]. Recommends she read chapter in School of Femininity, by Margaret Lawrence. Only Carrie and Mary, among people in Red Cloud, would read it without feeling spiteful. Has heard someone in Red Cloud claims to be the original of Lucy Gayheart, but Carrie knows who the skater was. Does she remember for sure the color of Sadie Becker's eyes? Hasn't been writing letters; still can't get over grieving for Douglass. They had such a joyful time when he came for her birthday. Will never be the same since losing both him and Isabelle. Only the affection of the Menuhins cheered her this past year. Enjoys knowing Yehudi's wife P.S.: Sorry to have missed seeing Father Fitzgerald; was in New Hampshire. Leaving for Canada soon.  Willie   [Stout #1455]


To Carrie Miner SherwoodJan. 29, [1940?]WCPM 

Showed Dr. Lewis's letter to an orthopedic surgeon, and he understood the nature of Mollie's injury from the description and agreed with the treatment. Is sending a check to help pay for nurse. Would like to cover the cost of the nursing, if Carrie will let her know how much. Very cold here; has had bronchitis. Appreciated her letter and Mary's. Yehudi and wife now gone to California.   Willie   [Stout #1468]


To Alexander WoollcottMar. 17, 1941Harvard 

Appreciates his kind words in his Second Reader, three years ago now, and appreciates his reprinting of Kenneth Grahame's Golden Age, as well as his bringing to her attention the paper on Boswell by Pottle. Recommends Johnson without Boswell, recently published by Knopf. Is it really he who is acting in The Man Who Came to Dinner? Such a surprise! Recommends French Hospital, where nurses speak French and even cooks are French. Had very good care and good food. A Catholic hospital, but nurses not nuns, so no black habits about. One accompanied the wife of ex-president of Chile on airplane when President Roosevelt provided her transportation back to Santiago. American airmen so fine—keep up her faith in America in spite of Communists having gotten hold of much of the country.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1533]


To Carrie Miner SherwoodMar. 22, 1941WCPM 

Keeps thinking about her and wishes she could write a real letter, by hand. Was saddened by Mary's telegram telling of Walter's [Carrie's husband's] death, but had heard how ill he was. Also heard how beautifully she was taking care of him. Remembers first seeing his picture in her watch case when she was going away to school at St. Mary's. Has spent a great deal of time alone this winter enjoying precious memories like that. Sees very few people besides Mary Virginia and Yehudi Menuhin and wife. Will write again soon. Hand is improving since going to Dr. Ober, a surgeon from Boston. Enjoys remembering evenings she spent with Carrie and Walter ten years ago, when they both gave her good advice.   Willie   [Stout #1534]


To Zoë AkinsSept. 17, 1941Huntington 

Had left New York before the flowers came. Left June 20 via the Santa Fe with stops in Chicago and New Mexico before meeting Roscoe and wife at Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Spent a month there, Roscoe coming for long visits every weekend. His condition still very guarded. Returned by way of Vancouver and Canadian Rockies. Stopped using the brace on her hand while in Victoria. Heat in New York now devastating.   Willa   [Stout #1548]


To Carrie Miner SherwoodApr. 29, [1945]WCPM  [Note: handwriting very irregular and scrawling.]

Glad she used her time during Easter storm to write a letter. Is still having trouble with hand. Used brace almost all the time for four months starting a little before Christmas. Can't dictate her work, only letters. Is very interested in everything Carrie writes about grandchildren. Used Tony Luhan's last name (which he took because his Indian name would be too difficult for white people) for the owner of the mules in Archbishop but changed the spelling so it wouldn't be obvious. Of course, he didn't have the mules as in the book. Personally knew of a pair of white mules owned by Mexicans. Is she really overseeing all five farms, besides maintaining Red Cross work? Would very much like to come to Red Cloud, but has been emotionally weak ever since her operation. Still able to write, as evidenced by work on a new story last summer that she greatly enjoyed. With any emotional excitement has physical symptoms, can't sleep, and cries uncontrollably. Is letting Mariel Gere know she will not be coming for the fiftieth class anniversary. Excitement would be too much. Has had a happy winter, though shortage of domestic help makes life difficult. Enjoys having Helen Louise nearby and enjoys the visits of Yehudi Menuhin and his wife.   Willie   [Stout #1704]


To Bishop George BeecherMar. 12, 1947, transcription made by Bernice Slote ; UNL 

Was grieved to learn of the death of Mrs. Beecher. Delayed writing until sufficiently recovered from the strain of her right hand to do so by hand. Does not write to many people in Red Cloud any longer, but does write to Carrie Sherwood and Mary Creighton and to Sidney Florance and his wife. Glad the hospital board is making such a good use of her family's old home. Some of the people in the country out from Red Cloud have written telling her how kind her mother was to them when they came to town. These are the memories one cherishes. Prays that he can bear up under the loneliness that has come to him.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1754]


To Edward Steichenn.d.WCPM 

Sending her thanks for his care in getting two prints made for her. Knows they will have a good trip. Many things she would like to talk over with him and his wife.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1783]


To Elsie CatherDecember 20, 1939UNL-Rosowski Cather 

How nice it must be that Helen Louise is in Lincoln.  As Josephine used to remark when the Menuhin children were coming to the apartment, children are pleasant to have around.  Has heard about Carrie's golden wedding anniversary, especially from Annie Pavelka, who enumerated the cakes, flowers, and guests. Good of the Miners to invite people from the neighboring farms.  Wishes she could have attended.  Hopes Elsie and Helen Louise will plan something fun for Christmas.  Yehudi and his wife gave her happiness on her birthday by bringing their baby, nearly three months old, to visit.  Likes Nola; Scotch but born in Australia.  Admires the honest, forthright Scotch.  Yehudi has been flattered so much that he needs someone who is plainspoken.  She and Edith will think about Elsie on Christmas Eve, and she will remember her last Christmas in Red Cloud. P.S.  Enclosing letter to Helen Louise for forwarding.  Willie 


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