A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Annie Adams Fields,  Wednesday [early 1908?] , from The Parker House, BostonHuntington 

Looks forward to seeing her this afternoon. Sorry to have telephoned so persistently. Has long wanted to know her and Miss Jewett.    Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #135]


To Annie Fields,  Wednesday night [April 1908?] Huntington 

Enjoyed seeing Mrs. Gardener's [Isabella Stewart Gardner?] house last week, with daffodils in bloom. Has returned library books and asked them to keep her card in case she comes back. Came to Boston in pursuit of Mrs. Eddy and likes the city better and better. In New York, feels under siege. Wishes Mr. McClure had come and introduced her last year, but is glad they finally met. Her friendship and Jewett's make the year's work worthwhile.   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #136]


To Annie Adams FieldsJune 27, 1909, from LondonHarvard 

Learned of their terrible loss [of Sarah Orne Jewett] yesterday. Cannot accept that Jewett is not still there. Knows how fearful Jewett had been of losing Fields; had loved her so dearly for so long. Sailing next week. Will let her know as soon as she lands in New York. Shares her grief.   Willa   [Stout #162]


To Annie Adams FieldsJuly 13, [1909], from aboard the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse ; Harvard 

Her letter was a comfort, especially the account of how peaceful Jewett was. Keeps dreaming they are both still there together. Receipt of this letter will show she has landed.    Willa   [Stout #163]


To Annie Adams FieldsJune 27, 1912, from Red Cloud, Nebr.Huntington 

Mother has had surgery but is recovering well. Will go see the Bohemians' wheat harvest next week. She wouldn't believe how hot Nebraska is now. Looks forward to telling her about Arizona.   Willa   [Stout #237]


To Annie Adams FieldsJuly 24, 1912, from Red Cloud, Nebr.Huntington 

Has been seeing the wheat harvest in the French and Bohemian country. Attended French mass at the Church of Saint Anne. Must get to work when she gets to Pittsburgh. Feeling well.   Willa   [Stout #240]


To Frederick Paul KeppelFeb. 16, 1940Columbia 

Doesn't speak to learned organizations; changes her mind too often to make definitive pronouncements.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1475]


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 Elsie CatherNovember 11, [1918]UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Has been meaning to answer Elsie's letter about My Ántonia.  Readers seem to respond more personally to Ántonia than they did with the others.  One must be more experienced and skilled to write truly about actual events than to invent stories.  Increasingly desires to write true stories.  So many average people seem to really love the purely literary treatment in My Ántonia.  Was recently in a book store and saw two women buying it!  One very striking woman wearing furs told the store-keeper to send the other copies of the novel, then left carrying an unwrapped copy.  Edith is better, but has no job yet.  Alfred is near death, and Isabelle is strained.  Food so expensive and influenza all around. Scrimping on household costs is depressing, especially when one wants to serve a good dinner to friends.  Today is Peace Day.  Sad that the Kaiser ended so many monarchies; would like a few weak ones left.  Hopes she won't get too exhausted during her vacation.  Why should flu strike Albuquerque? [In Elsie Cather's hand:  "Please send this letter back.  Elsie"]     Willa 


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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