A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

34 letters found

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To George SeibelJuly 17, 1901 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Has been home about two weeks, feeling tired out. Mother better than in years. Hopes he will read her story in the June New England Magazine. Another to be in August or September Scribner's [?]. Hoping for cooler weather.   Willa   [Stout #70]

To Ferris GreensletNov. 26, [1919]Harvard 

Telephone company says that only new mothers can get a phone. That would be funny! Please send books she can send to William Allen White in Kansas. Nice he wants them. Century has made an offer she wants to discuss with him. P.S.: Nice of Mrs. Austin to go to the trouble [to write an article about her].  W. S. C.   [Stout #484]

To Mary Miner CreightonFeb. 17, 1924, from New York telegram [published in the Webster County Argus on the occasion of the unveiling of a photograph of her in the Auld Library in Red Cloud] , transcription by Bernice Slote ; UNL 

"My love and greetings to the old friends of my own home town who are remembering me today. I think they know I would rather have their friendship than any other reward. When I was a child I loved my own town more than most children do, but I could not show it. I used to hope that some day I could make my town pleased with me. If I have succeeded it makes me very happy."   Willa Cather   [Stout #717]

To Mary Virginia Cather [mother]Mar. 2, [1925?]TWU 

What has she done to upset her so? Hasn't sent anything to Bess [prob. Elizabeth Seymour] or Auntie [Sarah Andrews] since she returned to New York. Hasn't written because she knew Douglass was there. Certainly did not mean to cause discord between her and father about the newspaper story about Margie [Argus, October 30, 1924; apparently following a story in one of the city newspapers in Nebraska]. It caused gossip, but isn't angry about it. Hasn't felt really angry toward her since they quarreled about Mrs. Garber. They've been growing closer and mustn't ruin that now. Hopes she and father will let her buy the house so they can pay Elsie to come live with them and look after them.   Willa   [Stout #771]

To Harry Brent Mackoy [attorney in Kenton County, Ky.]Nov. 11, 1926, from New YorkKentucky 

Is not related to Catherine D. Cather. Please inform the editor of Onward that she should not make such an assertion again.   Willa Cather   [Stout #859]

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 Irene Miner Weisz,  n.d. [Mar. 12, 1931] , from train crossing KansasNewberry 

Dreamed last night they were traveling together to Red Cloud for her parents' 50th anniversary. Hadn't been a considerate daughter, so didn't deserve the happiness that trip gave her. Irene the only friend who is an active part of both her Red Cloud life and her life since then. Probably why she tells her so much about the Menuhins, so she will go on being a part of it. Hopes to go to Red Cloud for a long visit some time, and hopes she will come.   Willie   [Stout #1044]

To Chilson LeonardMar. 19, 1936Phil-Ex 

Has no photographs of Nebraska in 1885 or 1895. Understands from Professor Pupin [?] of Columbia that it resembled the plains of Russia. Otto Fuchs not a representation of a specific person but a composite of many, as are most minor characters. Blind d'Arnault modeled on Blind Boone. Has also heard of a similar Blind Tom and Blind Noah. Actress Jim sees in Camille based on Clara Morris. Many relics such as the Spanish sword have been found in southwest Kansas. Good reading does not come from factual information, however, but from cultivated taste. Does not approve of required reading of contemporary writers in English courses, which should center on great English writers of the past and on Latin writers. Wishes his students were reading Kidnapped [ Stevenson ] or Vanity Fair [ Thackeray ] rather than My Ántonia.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1306]

To Edward WagenknechtDec. 31, 1938PM 

Appreciates his comments on the Autograph Edition. Never saw his article in Sewanee Review. Six of the early stories he lists are not really hers. "On the Divide" a college theme that the young professor greatly revised on his own before sending it to Overland Monthly without her knowledge. Some of the things he added—for example, all of the wood-carving parts—were not very credible. "El Dorado" also extensively revised by the same professor; she never intended to publish it. [But see letter #0070.] Others the collaborative work of a group of young newspaper people, including herself, in Pittsburgh; should not be considered her work. Her name used only because she had published stories before. Since no money involved, didn't seem to matter; were just having fun. First published story really hers was "Death in the Desert." Does not want these early stories reprinted; keeps them protected by copyright for that reason. Has even been able to stop circulation in mimeograph copies. Would prefer not to have to consult her attorney on this. No commercial or scholarly interest justifying republication. Does not consider it friendly of him to wish to do so. Like a fruit grower, a writer has the right to cull the crop.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1432]

To Carrie Miner SherwoodJune 5, [1940?]WCPM 

Is sending a contribution toward the Red Cross quota for Webster County, which is appropriate since she owns land there. Has been out of the hospital for almost three weeks but still not well. Throat problem similar to the ones her mother used to have. P.S.: Prefers to write checks on her Chase Bank account because they will be returned for tax records. Glad to give to the Red Cross; one charity that does what it claims to do.  Willie   [Stout #1482]