A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Zoë AkinsNov. 27, [1912?], from PittsburghHuntington 

Enjoyed reading her one-act play and her sonnets, but doesn't really like poems about artistic endeavor. "Rain, Rain!" and "Amen" are very good. Was in New York in October working on an article on the play openings.   W. S. C.   [Stout #247]

To Elizabeth Shepley SergeantNov. 19, [1913], from New YorkPM 

Swedish cousin has died in Paris. Spent a few days in Washington with her cousin's husband after he returned bringing the body. Is settling back into the apartment. Did about 28,000 words on new novel while in Pittsburgh. Has she seen the article about singers in the December McClure's? Fremstad likes it. Has been invited to Boston to visit Mrs. Fields, but can't go until after Christmas. Wishes she [ Sergeant ] were there to go to the ballet tonight. P.S.: Mrs. Fields's primness about a nude figure on the magazine cover is funny.  W. S. C.   [Stout #270]

To Mrs. George P. Cather [Aunt Franc]Nov. 11, [1918]UNL-Ray 

Thinking of her on this day of peace. For the first time in all history the sun rose on a world without monarchies. A fulfillment of Ralph Waldo Emerson's prediction that God would one day say He was tired of kings. Wishes Grosvenor had lived to see it, but he is now God's soldier, as the line in Macbeth says. The old is gone for good. Now more than ever the flag belongs in churches.   Willie   [Stout #440]

To Dorothy Canfield Fisher,  Monday [May 8, 1922?] UVt 

Yes, the story Dorothy sent about the university roughneck has the same idea as her book. Maybe future readers will think it is more true than Three Soldiers [Dos Passos] . Knopf hopes to see Dorothy in June. Glad Claude can help her understand how she was feeling in that long-past time. Will finish page proofs soon, but doesn't know if she can ever leave this book behind her.   Willa   [Stout #595]

To Mabel Dodge LuhanMay 1, [1934]Beinecke 

Sorry to have missed her. Wish she had stayed at the Grosvenor while she was in town. Hand out of splints but not useful yet. Enjoyed Four Saints [in Three Acts; New York premiere on February 20, 1934].   Willa   [Stout #1224]

To Dorothy Canfield FisherJan. 3, [1947?]UVt 

Was happy to receive her greeting on Christmas morning. No, can't remember translating [Heinrich] Heine's "Three Kings," but finds it amusing to think of having translated from a language in which she didn't know a bit of grammar. Very like her to have done so! Is happy and busy.   Willa   [Stout #1747]

To Elsie CatherJanuary 14, 1937, with clipping of an article from the New York Herald Tribune entitled "A Great Farewell" ; UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Enclosed editorial represents the New York view on the matter [of the abdication of England's King Edward VIII]. American media created such a stature for the woman [ Wallis Simpson ] that he could not have separated from her even if he wished to. Church officials probably wouldn't have minded if he put "duty" before "happiness," but the public wouldn't have respected him if he did. With such fierce public attention on the relationship, he couldn't really let her go, even though she may seem to be of low character to many. Kings struggle to have any sincere friends, and she seemed like one to him.   W.