A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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Results 1-10:

To Mrs. Helen StowellMay 31, 1889 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Won Latin prize at end of school year. Grades of 90 in rhetoric, 95 in Latin, and 100s in physics, astronomy, and ancient history. Teacher wrote a message in report card praising her literary interests. Has fixed up a room at father's office as a library. Is reading the Latin Bible, astronomy, geology, history, Homer, Milton, Swinburne, Ouida, and George Sand. Sister Jessie in school musicale yesterday. Mother, Mrs. Wiener, Mrs. Garber, and husbands [Charles F. Cather, Charles F. Wiener, and Silas Garber] had a picnic. Longs to go to Europe. Mary Miner doing well at piano. P.S.: As usual, Cather house is a gathering place for young people to flirt.  William Cather, Jr.   [Stout #2]


To Mrs. Helen StowellAug. 28, 1889 from Red Cloud, Nebr. on father's letterhead ; WCPM 

Has been studying Greek and reading Bulwer-Lytton and Dickens. Brothers Roscoe and Douglass competed in the Firemen's State Tournament. Is serving as a reporter for the Republican, edited by Dr. McKeeby. Has been to picnics in the Garbers' grove. Local couple flirting ridiculously. Jessie, Roscoe, and Douglass singing in cantata. Is going to baseball game in Superior, Nebraska, with Mary and Hugh Miner. Is going to dance at platform in the Garbers' grove tonight.   Willa Cather   [Stout #3]


To Mariel GereAug. 1, 1893 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Has been lonely since Louise's visit. Tried to bribe James to leave them alone. Spent a few days at uncle's home near other families from Virginia. Aunt hosted a "literary" at which a truly atrocious singer did twelve songs. Climbed the windmill in the evening and enjoyed the sight of moonlight glistening on ponds and corn tassels. Had to pull off skirts to climb down when a storm approached. Roscoe away haying, but when he gets back they will go up the river to their island. Baby brother Jack has been ill. Please greet a certain blonde [Louise?] if she sees her. Drove her about the countryside with one hand or none, but she didn't object. Still dreams about it. Don't read that part to Ned [Ellen] and Frances.    Cather   [Stout #15]


To Mariel, Ellen, and Frances [Gere], Allie [Althea Roberts], and Maysie [Mary Ames]Jan. 2, 1896 from "Siberia" ; WCPM 

Enjoyed visiting Katharine and her brother, who is more charming than ever. Quoted Ella Wheeler Wilcox to each other. Attended New Year's dance with Douglass—a rustic event. Could Mariel retrieve her [Cather's] copy of Daudet's Sapho from Sarah Harris? Doesn't know when she will be back in Lincoln. Here in the country might as well be dead. Is indifferent to everything, even suicide.    Willa   [Stout #21]


To Mariel GereMar. 12, [1896] from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Feels exiled. Why doesn't Mariel write? Cooks sometimes to relieve boredom. Rides bicycle when weather permits. Planned and orchestrated a wedding breakfast for her [Cather's] cousin and Hugh Miner. Looked after the children the previous week while parents went to Hastings. Enjoys playing cards and going visiting with Douglass and Roscoe, when he comes to town. Has been reading Arabian Nights and Alice in Wonderland to James.   Willa   [Stout #22]


To Mariel GereMay 2, 1896 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Appreciates her help getting through scrapes during years at the university. Now another one. Keeps making a fool of herself! Keeps trying on personas (the scholarly, the bohemian)! Would consider suicide but knows her stupidities spring from liking someone too well. People always watching her, waiting for her to do something unusual. Feels superficial and useless where she is. Little brother Jack is the one consolation. Has been to a dance with Douglass and actually enjoyed it. Miner girls there. Met a Miss [Anna] Gayhardt and talked all night. Can't talk like this to Katharine [Weston], of course. Hopes to get up to Lincoln soon. Professor Bates very happy in his new job.    Willa   [Stout #24]


To Mrs. Charles GereJuly 13, [1896] from PittsburghWCPM 

Why don't the girls write? Is lonely, not during work days but at night. Has her own stenographer and entire responsibility for the first issue, even overseeing layout. Is arranging for material for September issue [of Home Monthly]. Wants to do article on Mrs. William Jennings Bryan and Mrs. William McKinley. Please help get personal details about Mrs. Bryan. Magazine not much as literature, but hopes to make a success of it. Is behaving.    Willa   [Stout #26]


To Mariel GereMarch 7, 1898 from PittsburghWCPM 

Has been to Homestead, Pennsylvania, to see Mary Esther Robbins, now engaged to a German professor of science. Was in New York in February; had lunch with Madame [Helena] Modjeska.    Willa   [Stout #48]


To William V. Alexander,  at Ladies Home Journal Jan. 11, 1899UVa 

Has interviewed Nevin for the article she is doing. He told her about his writing of Narcissus. Is returning photographs.   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #56]


To Mariel GereAug. 2, 1899WCPM 

How lucky Mariel is! [See #0053.] Is traveling home the long way, by the Great Lakes, but will be in Lincoln the next Sunday. Is worried about her mother, who has been ill.   Willa   [Stout #57]


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