A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Frank Egleston RobbinsMay 21, 1924Michigan 

Is satisfied with arrangements for stay in Ann Arbor. Will attend luncheon, and will appreciate his providing her a cap and gown. Rather short gown, fairly large head size.   Willa Cather   [Stout #733]


To Frank Egleston RobbinsJune 8, [1924]Michigan 

Arriving in Ann Arbor via the "Wolverine" on Sunday morning, June 15. Hopes to be met at the station.   Willa Cather   [Stout #734]


To Irene Miner WeiszJune 10, [1924]Newberry 

Will reach Chicago the afternoon of June 17 after receiving honorary degree at the University of Michigan the previous day. Would like to spend the night with her.   Willie   [Stout #735]


To Dorothy Canfield FisherJune 27, [1924], from Red Cloud, Nebr.UVt 

Enjoyed Michigan after all. A dreadful place but interesting people. Enjoying nieces and nephews. Parents amazingly vigorous.   Willa   [Stout #737]


To [Frank Arthur] SwinnertonSept. 18, [1924], from Grand MananArkansas 

Appreciated his sending her the Proust Within a Budding Grove. Glad he has had a good trip to Rome. Received an honorary doctorate from University of Michigan in June, then went to Red Cloud. Here on the island since early August, writing. Impossible to tell when a good work period will come. Leaving in three days for Boston and back to New York.   Willa Cather   [Stout #745]


To Read BainJan. 14, 1931Michigan 

Out of many fan letters, it is easy to recognize one of substance. Yes, it is disadvantageous for a writer to be female. Suggests Virginia Woolf for an accurate statement. Often returns to early memories, because young children are virtually without sex. Interesting to hear which books he prefers, but believes A Lost Lady is better than either of the two he named.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1033]


To Read BainOct. 22, 1931Michigan 

Has been back in New York only a few days. Please either discontinue use of middle name or spell it right. Yes, most reviewers criticize her for not writing a typical historical novel with lots of action. No, is not Catholic but respects the Catholic Church as the religion most dear to humanity and for the longest time.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1079]


To Mr. WellsJan. 16, 1933Newberry 

Glad he sent the English reviews of Obscure Destinies, especially the one from Manchester Guardian. Interesting that he was a professor at Michigan when she received honorary degree there. The first university to give a person an honorary degree is brave. Princeton was brave in giving her its first to a woman. Best wishes with his work at the British Museum.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1153]


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 CatherJune 21, [1933]UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Virginia's graduation [from Smith College] went well. Did everything proper and had lunch with Virginia and her friend Miss Wilder and visited the Baldwin House. Stayed in the quiet Faculty House at Mount Holyoke. Virginia joined Cather and Lewis for dinner at the Whichers, who send greetings to Elsie. Virginia accompanied Cather and Lewis to Springfield and then went to Detroit. Like many her age, Virginia seems gloomy. Virginia brought Elsie's letter when she came over with Mary Lewis to Mount Holyoke to have dinner the day they arrived.   W. 


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