Bibliography of Willa Cather's Reading

This bibliography was created by Sharon Hoover and Melissa Ryan. They know that the existing work, though large, is incomplete, and they invite interested scholars, readers, and students to submit new works to the bibliography. To do so, please contact the editor of the Willa Cather Archive at . Any resource that attempts to be comprehensive depends upon a community of scholars, readers, and other interested parties.

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Total Number of Entries in Reading Bibliography: 1056

    Twain, Mark (Samuel Clemens)

  1. Author: Twain, Mark (Samuel Clemens)
    Title: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    Date: 1884
    Genre: fiction
    Note Relating to Cather: According to a letter, Cather still "loves" Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In another letter, Cather recommends Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for inclusion in anthology for soldiers. In an 1895 Courier article Cather writes: "There is that thoroughly stupid Recollections of Joan of Arc by no less an historical and literary authority than Mark Twain. It's only Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in very transparent sixteenth-century dress and talking the barbarous English in which school boys write their first historical novels." In an 1897 Home Monthly article Cather writes: "I got a letter last week from a little boy just half-past seven who had just read Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He said: 'If there are any more books like them in the world, send them to me quick.' I had to humbly confess to him that if there were any others I had not the good fortune to know of them.... Certainly Mark Twain is much better when he writes of his Missouri boys than when he makes sickly romances about Joan of Arc. And certainly he never did a better piece of work than The Prince and the Pauper."
    Note Source: A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather #1213; A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather #1240; Courier 10/5/1895; Home Monthly 5/1897


  2. Author: Twain, Mark (Samuel Clemens)
    Title: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    Date: 1876
    Genre: fiction
    Note Relating to Cather: In an 1895 Courier article Cather writes: "There is that thoroughly stupid Recollections of Joan of Arc by no less an historical and literary authority than Mark Twain. It's only Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in very transparent sixteenth-century dress and talking the barbarous English in which school boys write their first historical novels." In an 1897 Home Monthly article Cather writes: "I got a letter last week from a little boy just half-past seven who had just read Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He said: 'If there are any more books like them in the world, send them to me quick.' I had to humbly confess to him that if there were any others I had not the good fortune to know of them.... Certainly Mark Twain is much better when he writes of his Missouri boys than when he makes sickly romances about Joan of Arc. And certainly he never did a better piece of work than The Prince and the Pauper." In The Professor's House, Godfrey St. Peter complains because Horace Langtry, a popular history professor, gives credit to students for reading Tom Sawyer instead of studying the Missouri Compromise. In "Old Mrs. Harris," the Templeton twins beg Gramma Harris to read Tom Sawyer.
    Note Source: Courier 10/5/1895; Home Monthly 5/1897; The Professor's House Part I, Chap. 3; Obscure Destinies 76


  3. Author: Twain, Mark (Samuel Clemens)
    Title: Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
    Date: 1896
    Genre: fiction
    Note Relating to Cather: In an 1895 Courier article Cather writes: "There is that thoroughly stupid Recollections of Joan of Arc by no less an historical and literary authority than Mark Twain. It's only Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in very transparent sixteenth-century dress and talking the barbarous English in which school boys write their first historical novels." In an 1897 Home Monthly article Cather writes: "I got a letter last week from a little boy just half-past seven who had just read Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He said: 'If there are any more books like them in the world, send them to me quick.' I had to humbly confess to him that if there were any others I had not the good fortune to know of them.... Certainly Mark Twain is much better when he writes of his Missouri boys than when he makes sickly romances about Joan of Arc. And certainly he never did a better piece of work than The Prince and the Pauper."
    Note Source: Courier 10/5/1895; Home Monthly 5/1897


  4. Author: Twain, Mark (Samuel Clemens)
    Title: Prince and the Pauper
    Date: 1882
    Genre: fiction
    Note Relating to Cather: "I got a letter last week from a little boy just half-past seven who had just read Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He said: 'If there are any more books like them in the world, send them to me quick.' I had to humbly confess to him that if there were any others I had not the good fortune to know of them.... Certainly Mark Twain is much better when he writes of his Missouri boys than when he makes sickly romances about Joan of Arc. And certainly he never did a better piece of work than The Prince and the Pauper."
    Note Source: Home Monthly 5/1897


  5. Author: Twain, Mark (Samuel Clemens)
    Title: Pudd'nhead Wilson (novel)
    Date: 1894
    Genre: fiction
    Note Relating to Cather: On Frank Mayo's adaptation for the stage of Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson: "Decidedly there are very few American plays as clever as Pudd'nhead Wilson....Mr. Mayo was not mistaken when he thought he saw great dramatic possibilities in Mark Twain's novel. With the exception of the necessary omission of a large part of Pudd'nhead's Calendar, the play is quite as good as the novel, and that is putting it pretty strongly, for very few of the best plays are really as good as even the poor novels. Of course the pith and heart of the play is the race question, the struggle between the Negro blood and the white, the demonstration that circumstances and environment could not make a slave a gentleman nor a gentleman a slave. As Roxy says in the last act when her own son is crouching at her feet, 'Taint no use nohow, you ain't no 'count. I suppose it's the nigger in you.'"
    Note Source: Leader 2/9/1897


  6. Author: Twain, Mark (Samuel Clemens)
    Note Relating to Cather: In an essay on Paul Bourget's Outre-Mer, Cather claims that Twain "is not and never will be a part of literature."
    Note Source: Journal 5/5/1895