A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant,  Sunday [pm. June 4, 1911] , from New YorkPM 

Thanks for the box of candy. Someone from Hull House was at the office and said Miss Wyatt is obsessed with white slavery these days. Too bad she can't see anything amusing in humanity. Miss McClung to be in town soon and Miss Goldmark not long after. Wishes Sergeant could be there to meet Isabelle, who also dislikes people obsessed with social reform.   Willa Cather   [Stout #195]


To Pauline Goldmark,  n.d. [Mar. 6, 1912?] UVa 

Sorry she has had bad news. Mr. McClure turned up unexpectedly last week. Leaving for Pittsburgh tomorrow. Elsie Sergeant saved her sanity while she [Cather] was in Boston.   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #215]


To Mrs. C. F. LambrechtAug. 21, [1935], from Italy, postcard ; WCPM 

Is in the Italian Alps, on the Austrian border. Sends love to her, Lydia, and Pauline.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1016]


To Dr. Merores [?]Jan. 16, 1933UVa 

Sorry to hear he began a German translation of Death Comes for the Archbishop without her agreement or a publisher. Arranging for translations is very complicated and time-consuming. Mr. Knopf handles it all for her. Interesting that he knows Mrs. Brandeis. Once knew Judge Brandeis fairly well, and his sisters Pauline and Josephine Goldmark are dear friends. Can't help find a publisher for his translation.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1150]


To Pauline GoldmarkApr. 18, [1933], from 570 Park AvenueWCPM 

Could she and Josephine [Goldmark] come to tea on Saturday the 22nd at five?   Willa Cather   [Stout #1172]


To Mrs. C. F. Lambrecht, Lydia, and PaulineJan. 19, [1935?]WCPM 

Appreciates the quilt they made her. Recognizes many of the flowers on it. Among them, lilies-of-the-valley, crocuses, and peonies are her favorites. But almost likes the solid squares better, because of the quilting.   Willie Cather   [Stout #1249]


To Lydia [Lambrecht]Dec. 14, 1938WCPM , transcription

Sending a Christmas box to her mother tomorrow. Douglass's death left her ill for quite a while, but can now do Christmas shopping. Sending some wool cloth to be made up into a dress for mother. Sending hoods for her and Pauline, very stylish; also some wool gloves and scarves. Hopes they won't mind making up the dress.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1428]


To Elizabeth Shepley SergeantNov. 27, 1940PM 

Sending an advance copy of Sapphira and the Slave Girl but can't autograph it because of strained tendon of right thumb. Please give her best wishes to Pauline and Josephine Goldmark.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1507]


To E. K. BrownOct. 7, 1946Beinecke 

Reply has been delayed by repairs of apartment. Greatly appreciates his insightful reading of her work and generally agrees with his judgments. Is not writing much nowadays because low in spirits since the deaths of her brothers Douglass and Roscoe. Yes, Death Comes for the Archbishop is her best. It was hard to find a structure to pull together so many disparate elements in the Southwest. It simply came to her one day when watching the sunset color the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that the essence of the early Southwest was the story of the missionaries from France. Devoted herself to research on it from that day. Mary Austin claimed the book was written in her house, and now a woman named Wheelwright claiming it was written in hers. Actually, mostly written in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Has always felt disappointed with O Pioneers!. Tried to put together the Norwegian and the French settlers, and they never mixed. Once, not long after it was published, met Louis Brandeis on the street and he told her that what he most liked about the novel was its sincerity of feeling for the place and people. Said that one of the writers in whom he did not find that sincerity was Edith Wharton. Never saw him again. Probably he didn't find her own next two books sincere either. Kept working and trying to learn. Believes Brown underestimates the early railroad builders; Jim Hill, for example, a person of great imagination and personal quality. Never gave great care to language per se in her books, but tried to let the language come to her that would express feeling for the subject. Is pleased by his praise of My Mortal Enemy. Agrees that Lucy Gayheart isn't very good, except in the last part, after the Gayhearts themselves are dead and the book centers on the effect they have in the businessman's memory. Wishes she'd had a better sense of form earlier in her career.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1741]


To Elsie CatherAugust 6, [1933], from Grand MananUNL-Rosowski Cather 

Elsie's letter of July 22 has just reached her; wrote to Elsie about Virginia graduation before she left New York.  Is occupied with working out rights for translations.  Is sending money for upkeep of house and yard.  Will send Pauline Kourtner two months' pay for Bess.  Will all feel easier about Bess and Will then.  Why is Will Auld's bank in such trouble? What happened to Mrs. Damerell's money?  How is Father Fitzgerald?  Will soon write to Helen Mac. Please get money to Pauline Kourtner without waiting for check.  Love to Elsie and Mollie. P.S.:  Mary Virginia spent a restful vacation in Grand Manan, but is unhappy.  Doesn't her father care about her?  Willie 


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