A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Roscoe CatherJanuary 8, [1940], on W.S.C. letterhead; UNL-Roscoe 

Finds it difficult to convey to him what her life is really like. Doesn't like to forward fan mail, but the relationship between a writer and her publisher is fundamental to the writer's well-being. Nonchalantly told Alfred last spring that it was kind of Jan to return a copy of an unpublished story Isabelle had when she died. Alfred was surprised such a thing existed and was very interested in seeing it. Told him it was too short to publish as a book and had only sent it to Isabelle to entertain her during her illness. It is called "The Old Beauty." Sent it to him and he replied in two letters, the second of which is especially pleasing. Still has a letter he sent years ago that he wrote early on Christmas morning. Had taken along the manuscript of A Lost Lady when going to his home for a party on Christmas Eve and he read it overnight and sent this letter by courier on Christmas day. It started like this: "Christmas morning, Four o'clock. My Dear Miss Cather. I think you are a very great writer." The book meant something to him, and he was there when she needed him. Is writing from bed: has bronchitis. Sorry handwriting is so poor. Please return Alfred's two letters. PS: Don't forget, they will get together soon, when weather turns warm. If the Virginia novel hadn't been such a hassle, would be free now. But must finish for Alfred's sake, if only because he never tries to rush her.  Willie. 

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