A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Mary Virginia Cather,  Sunday [pm October 26, 1924] UNL-Southwick 

Sorry she hasn't written, but it is tiring to return home after being gone so long. Thankfully, Edith arrived two weeks earlier and, with Mrs. Winn, cleaned the apartment better than ever. Even the rugs and curtains were cleaned. Had to hire a new maid, since Montana returned to the south—Mattie, a lovely mulatto gal from Baltimore. Likes her a lot. Hopes she doesn't return south the way so many do. Trained her last week and together put up five quarts of wonderful quince preserves. Is worried about parents over the winter. Wishes they could go to wonderful place in Winchester she knows about. Is writing daily, but slowed by housekeeping needs. Hopes mother enjoys staying with Mrs. Wolfe. Mary Virginia's school sent invitation to Thanksgiving, but unsure if she can go.   Willie 

To Roscoe CatherDecember 8, [1918]UNL-Roscoe 

Started this letter a long while ago. New York is brimming with soldiers back from the war. Has been trying to see them often. They enjoy speaking about France to anybody who is interested. Is mailing a copy of a terrific review [of My Ántonia]—complete with a large photograph—from the Sunday Sun. ["My Nebraska Antonia," [New York] Sun (6 October 1918) section 6, p. 1] Had to special order the copies, for extras aren't readily available due to paper shortages. Is stunned by the popular response. Doesn't everybody in the U.S. have such a tale? Has never cared for tales herself, and less so now that she is so conscious of their construction. In My Ántonia, didn't intensify the drama of life one bit, yet people really enjoy it. Professor Geoghegan [possibly linguist Richard Henry Geoghegan?] tells her that he believes it is the greatest American novel; father also says it is as good as any he has read. How delightful to reach such different readers! Hopes she can do it again. Is pleased Virginia likes her coat. Sorry to hear about the whooping cough going around in his family. Was in Red Cloud when Trix Mizer's children were suffering from it. Please write soon. Enjoys hearing about his life. Ask Meta to write, too. Is working some on the Blue Mesa story [a version of "Tom Outland's Story," which later appeared in the novel The Professor's House], but is struggling with it mightily. Does not want to write it conventionally, but the alternative is very hard.   Willie. 

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