A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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Results 11-20:

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 Ferris Greenslet,  Monday [Jan. 12, 1914] , from New YorkHarvard 

Is pleased to have the Adams book [prob. Henry Adams, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres, 1904; reissued by Houghton Mifflin in 1913]. Tell Nancy Moore her serial will get a quick reading by Mackenzie [at McClure's].   Willa Cather   [Stout #273]

To Elizabeth Shepley SergeantJune 27, [1915], from New YorkPM 

Has just read her essay on Provence in Century. Is busy with proofs. Jack is off in Maine. A musical critic is reading galleys and is enthusiastic, especially about the singing lessons. Would have felt bad if those hadn't been right! Has she seen Henry James's article about Mrs. Fields in the June Atlantic? Isn't she disappointed in Owen Wister's novel? [Pentecost of Calamity, 1915] P.S.: Loves her khaki outfit for the cliff dwellings— reminds her of Kurt's outfit in Fidelio [ Beethoven ].  Willa   [Stout #310]

To Ferris GreensletJune 30, [1915], from New YorkHarvard 

Likes the jacket, but the copy is wrong—Moonstone, Colorado, not Arizona. Also, Thea and Fred go to Mexico, not New Mexico. Wishes it could say something about her artistic growth in the cliff dweller ruins. Actually, not so very happy with the cover. Couldn't it be more like British edition of Pioneers? Henry James seems patronizing in his essay on the Fieldses.   Willa Cather   [Stout #311]

To Dorothy Canfield FisherMar. 15, [1916?]UVt 

The Song of the Lark was fun to write, but shows carelessness. Cut out several chapters set in Germany to keep it focused on the Moonstone perspective. They would have spoiled the unity. A few negative reviewers have wished it were a tragedy rather than a success story. The title is a weakness, it's true. Hasn't been up to starting a new book this winter, with Judge McClung's death, the closing of the house, and prospect of Isabelle's marriage [April 3, 1916]. Doesn't get along well with Jan Hambourg. Loss of Isabelle is a severe one. Also, Annie Fields died last winter. So much misery in the world in general, with the war. Wishes they could have a long talk.   Willa   [Stout #351]

To Wilbur CrossOct. 11, 1922, from New YorkBeinecke 

People seem to have strong feelings about One of Ours, pro or con. Has been thinking he might like a memoir about Mrs. James T. Fields [for Yale Review], but through a misunderstanding Henry Seidel Canby is expecting such a piece from her [for Literary Review, New York Evening Post]. No longer interested in doing the article she discussed with Miss McAfee a year ago. Wants to keep working on a new novelette [ A Lost Lady ].   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #626]

To Ferris GreensletNov. 17, 1922, from New YorkHarvard 

Pleased with the sales report, but the copy of Alexander's Bridge hasn't arrived. Did he see her article on Mrs. Fields? ["148 Charles Street," a review of De Wolfe Howe's Memories of a Hostess, 1922, drawn mainly from Annie Adams Fields's diaries] Is going to Red Cloud next week to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas.   Willa Cather   [Stout #643]

To Dorothy Canfield Fisher,  Tuesday [Nov. 28, 1922] , from New YorkUVt 

Has been ill and won't be able to visit. Leaves tomorrow for Nebraska, too late to reach home for Thanksgiving. Annie Fields was even better than she said in her article. Claude has sold over 30,000.   Willa   [Stout #651]

To Elizabeth Moorhead VermorckenSept. 19, [1928]PM 

Can't remember if she ever wrote about Elizabeth's mother's surgery. Life has been very disordered. Has been at Grand Manan, off the coast of New Brunswick, at the house she and Miss Lewis have there. Expects to go to Quebec in a few weeks. It has been a hard year. Likes the essay on herself in Whipple's book Spokesmen [R. K. Whipple, Spokesmen: Modern Writers and American Life, 1928], which has a fine essay on Henry Adams. Greetings to her mother. P.S.: Likes Thornton Wilder's new book [probably The Bridge of San Luis Rey, 1927].  Willa Cather   [Stout #944]

To [DeWolfe] HoweNov. 11, 1931Harvard 

Please destroy her letters to Annie Fields. They are not genuinely characteristic in tone, since she was never comfortable with Mrs. Fields on paper, though she was in person. P.S.: No, please send the letters; will decide whether to return any to him to retain.  Willa Cather   [Stout #1084]

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