A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Dorothy Canfield FisherDec. 20, [1929], from Grosvenor Hotel, New YorkUVt 

Commercial stationery reflects her life just now, very unsettled. Going to California again in January. Appreciated letter from Spain; received it at Grand Manan. Had a good rest, both there and in New Hampshire. New York has worn her out again. Yes, remembers Lizzie Hudson Collier, cousin of Wilkie Collins; an actress in Pittsburgh. Would like to have kept in touch with her. Has sent off eight Christmas boxes to farm women in Nebraska. Has loved them, and they her, for many years. Hears mother has improved a little. Still, a quick death would be much better. Sorry the letter seems blue, but is feeling homesick.   Willa   [Stout #997]

To Ferris GreensletOct. 13, 1944Harvard 

Returned a week ago from vacation. Is glad to divide royalty from Armed Services edition of My Ántonia evenly. Puzzled by reference to a proposal for Spanish and Portuguese translations for marketing in South America, having heard from a friend that a translation was being made in Spain to be sold there. This proposal Greenslet presents doesn't sound very profitable. Let it go.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1675]

To Ferris GreensletNov. 20, 1944Harvard 

In response to proposal for a translation to be published by a house in Barcelona [mentioned by Greenslet in Nov. 17 letter], will think about it after she receives a Dun & Bradstreet report on them. P.S.: Right hand is hurt again.  Willa Cather by Sarah J. Bloom   [Stout #1679]

To Elsie CatherAugust 31, [1936]UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Appreciated letter, which keeps her connected to Red Cloud.� Worries about the town when reading about weather in Omaha, Kansas City, and Denver in the New York Herald.� Pauline and Lydia Lambrecht write that all the old settlers are moving out.� Thankful this didn't happen while father was alive.� All the world is troubled—Spain, for instance.� Food prices are causing hardships in Paris, and the Hambourgs having a difficult time.� Even Grand Manan is having poor weather that has aggravated her rheumatic shoulder.� Edith has boils from a black-fly bite.� Both have felt lethargic since the twins left, and she is not working.� Is putting off writing to Carrie, who will have a hard time with Margie's death.� Many difficult things now.� Should have been easier with mother and father, but one must fight hard when young.� Appreciates Elsie's caring for cemetery lot and encloses a check for $25, twenty for the upkeep of the lot and five for the Church Guild.� Much love.�   Willie 

To Roscoe Cather April 18, [1908] on letterhead of Royal Mail Steamship "Carpathia" ; UNL-Roscoe 

Saw Cape St. Vincent, Portugal, this afternoon, a place sacred to all with ties to England, and soon will see Trafalgar Bay, the site of Nelson's victory over Napoleon's navy. The sea floor here is covered with the skeletons of French, Spanish, and Italian sailors, thanks to Nelson. A British captain onboard commented that he thinks of Nelson's victory every time he passes this place. Is thinking of Nelson atop the column in Trafalgar Square, London, and his letter to Lady Hamilton [Nelson's mistress] in the British Museum, written the night before he died. "If Blood be the price of admiralty" [line from Rudyard Kipling's "Song of the Dead"]. Enjoys thinking of Nelson and the dead on the sea floor and the glory of the English navy and of his statue in Trafalgar Square protected by Landseer's lions, and the people's affection for Lady Hamilton. Wishes Roscoe could see these things with her.