A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

28 letters found

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Results 11-20:

To Carrie Miner Sherwood, n.d. [shown as 1928 in C. M. S.'s hand] [inscription in copy of O Pioneers!] ; WCPM , printed in O'Brien.

"For Carrie Sherwood. This was the first time I walked off on my own feet—everything before was half read and half an immitation [sic] of writers whom I admired. In this one I hit the home pasture and found that I was Yance Sorgeson [Sorgenson; Webster County farmer] and not Henry James.   Willa Cather   [Stout #922]

To Yaltah and Hephzibah MenuhinMay 3, [1934?]Princeton 

Wishes she could have accompanied them to Marseilles; has always liked it. Isabelle wrote that Yehudi's concert in Paris was a great success. Expects to finish new book before leaving in July for Grand Manan. Hoping hand will be well enough to let her enjoy the rougher life there. Will use splint if it hurts. As Shakespeare writes, "My very chains and I grow friends..." Hopes they can read Shakespeare together again some day. Greetings to all.   Aunt Willa   [Stout #1225]

To Thomas MasarykDec. 1, 1923 [error for 1936?] ; Berkeley 

Is sending him a book of essays including one he may especially enjoy about Boston before World War I, "148 Charles Street," which begins on page 52. Thinks of the years before 1914 as a pleasant time in Europe and America when one could travel without passport to so many wonderful places that it was hard to choose. Always remembers his good words to her.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1334]

To Brother Emil MohrMay 7, 1937Notre Dame 

He made a good choice of vocation. So important to try to convince young people that the world doesn't have to be as it is, that it was peaceful and orderly and happy before 1914 [the year World War I began]. Envies him the pleasure of teaching Latin. Such a clean and austere language; so cleansing to read Virgil at the end of a cluttered day.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1365]

To Yaltah MenuhinFeb. 28, [1939?; prob. Feb. 27]Princeton 

Wishes she were there to cheer a rainy day. Enclosing a letter from Stephen Tennant. At times he lets emotions run away with him. Prefers simple, direct language. English poetry has greater riches and variety than French, but English prose is better plain, with strong emotion kept firmly controlled. Glad to hear she likes Barrie. He can get away with sentiment because he always does it with a hint of a laugh. Was glad to hear from her father and Yehudi on Saturday before they sailed. Sorry she is having respiratory trouble. Suggests she read at night when she is having trouble, to try to take her mind off it. Myra Hess came to tea yesterday and sent her greetings. P.S.: Good that Stephen went to Egypt even if it did cause him to rhapsodize; he needs it for his health. [Tennant was in Egypt in early 1939. That fact, together with the reference to Yaltah's illness, seems to confirm the dating of this letter. On the other hand, the reference to Yehudi's sailing conflicts with the statement that he is in Jaffrey. I conjecture no. 1439 was written later in the day. However, inconsistencies make it unclear.]  Aunt Willa   [Stout #1438]

To unnamed nun [addressed only as Sister]Nov. 23, 1940Loyola 

Yes, several of her books show admiration for Catholic missionary priests. Has known and personally admired several—Father Connelly in Winslow, Arizona, Father Haltermann in Santa Cruz, N.M., and a Belgian priest who died in World War I while serving as a chaplain in the Belgian army. Enclosing a reprint of her letter to the Commonweal about sources for Death Comes for the Archbishop.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1505]

To Carrie Miner Sherwood,  Friday [Sept. 1942] WCPM 

Appreciates her letter. She mustn't worry. Lost fifteen pounds, from 126 to 111, and is still weak but nausea gone. Will surely recover faster now. P.S.: While in bed, kept thinking about old friends—in the words of the hymn, "whom I have loved long since, and lost awhile."  Willie   [Stout #1591]

To May [Willard?]December 30, 1940, from French Hospital signed by Sarah J. Bloom, and accompanied by a note in her hand reading, "Miss Cather dictated this letter to me on Sunday after Christmas, and I am hurrying it off without her corrections, as she still cannot use her right hand at all."; UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Came to the French Hospital for hand problems several days ago, and May's Christmas wreath has been next to her bed since Christmas Eve. Though she told everyone not to send flowers, a few did come, and they were just right. Thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass in the chapel. This is the second time at the French Hospital and, to her surprise, is even more pleasant than the first. Is fortunate to be able to come to this hospital instead of going to a common New York hospital. Hears French spoken all daylong, which is sustaining in itself. Though the hospital is Catholic, the nuns do not do medical care. The nurses are Irish, French, and Italian women, and the head nurse is a Canadian Scotch Presbyterian. An Italian girl, Olympia Fumagalli, the nurse she sees the most, once flew to Chile with the Chilean President's wife on a military plane, then spent many weeks in Chile. All the women speak English. Especially likes the Irish nuns who were taught at a French convent and who bungle the French language as badly as she does. Will go home January 4, as Sigrid Undset is visiting January 11 and does not want to miss it. Will regret leaving the lovely, peaceful isolation of this place for the modern city. Hand is improving well, though mind is even better. The world of Hitler is erased in this lovely atmosphere of old and sustainable practices. Apologize for what is probably a confusing letter, one which she will not be able to revise, but the profound satisfaction of this quiet Christmas is hard to articulate. Happy New Year.   Willa Cather, per S. J. Bloom 

To Mary Virginia CatherFebruary 2, [1917] [On the back of one leaf is written, "Elsie do not worry about my cold nor say anything about it to the folks at home for I am all over it now and feeling fine except I am still tired so very tired Lovingly Mother"] ; UNL-Southwick 

Is very concerned about mother's cold and thinks she should go to Yuma if it does not improve. Is pleased mother has met nice people at the boarding house; often kind but unfamiliar people are more relaxing companions than family and friends, as one tends to put on a better face for them. Is in bed for a few days with visiting "friend." Dr. Van Etten, to whom she was referred by Dr. Wiener, is helpful, and thinks he might be able to make her monthly bout less difficult over time and, by reducing loss of blood, improve her general health. Is very distraught by the war news, and has written father in detail about it. Bought a black, beaded silk bag for Auntie Sister for $1 at Wannamaker's when there to purchase curtains. Thinks Auntie will think it very classy. Monthly expenses are $50 higher this year; have [she and Edith Lewis] given up opera and most concerts (but do often get free theater tickets). Mrs. Deland solicited a $10 donation for Belgium; had to give it since Deland kept her for three weeks after the Boston operation. Jack is working in Pittsburgh now, but the job isn't likely to last long. He seems very cocky of late, so wrote him a diatribe warning him not to look silly in front of Pittsburgh friends. He'll probably soon get over the boastful mood and be a humble boy again. Will soon mail her the month's magazines and plans to send a Valentine's Day card to West Virginia and a book to Mrs. Letson. Since it is Friday, has to meet guests for tea, but hopes few will arrive today. Likes to use the lunch cloth mother gave her and Isabelle's silver every Friday.   Willie 

To Mary Virginia Cather and Elsie CatherMay 27, [1924]UNL-Southwick 

Was planning to leave for Red Cloud weeks ago when received an offer from University of Michigan to get an honorary doctorate on June 16. Knopf and other friends believe that it should not be passed up. Robert Frost thought declining would be offensive. Ann Arbor is, surprisingly, closer to New York than to Red Cloud. So has decided to come after receiving degree in Michigan and stay there until late July. Is intolerant of the heat, of course, so will leave for Grand Manan and be there in friends' cabin in August and September—yes, a strange plan for getting a few weeks of writing time. The degree is wrecking the summer. Doesn't understand why she can't refuse. Wishes people would be independent enough to ignore praise the way they do criticism and let nothing get in the way of living. Elsie, please write if parents are unwell; a sick parent would be an acceptable way to decline the degree. Can't bring herself to lie about it, though; would feel responsible if they actually got sick. [note in the margin of the second page, written by Mary Virginia Cather, reads, "Why do you not write home Write what you think best to Willa I am not so very well. But I can easily[?] wait[?]. perhaps it is best for her to come late after you get here Mother."]   Willie 

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