A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

275 letters found

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To Dorothy Canfield,  Saturday [Mar. or Apr. 1904] UVt 

Thanks for sharing what Miss Roseboro' said about the stories. Roseboro's own are a sentimental muddle. Best wishes for Dorothy's doctoral exam in May. Hopes to get to Vermont this summer. Will mainly be in New York near or with Edith Lewis. Hopes to finish novel there. Might take an English course at Columbia, if there is one in the summer. Isabelle still droopy from bad throat. Parents [Cather's] have just moved into a new, roomier house and want her to come help select furnishings, but she needs to finish the novel for McClure.   Willie   [Stout #97]

To Annie Adams Fields,  Wednesday [early 1908?] , from The Parker House, BostonHuntington 

Looks forward to seeing her this afternoon. Sorry to have telephoned so persistently. Has long wanted to know her and Miss Jewett.    Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #135]

To Annie Fields,  Wednesday night [April 1908?] Huntington 

Enjoyed seeing Mrs. Gardener's [Isabella Stewart Gardner?] house last week, with daffodils in bloom. Has returned library books and asked them to keep her card in case she comes back. Came to Boston in pursuit of Mrs. Eddy and likes the city better and better. In New York, feels under siege. Wishes Mr. McClure had come and introduced her last year, but is glad they finally met. Her friendship and Jewett's make the year's work worthwhile.   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #136]

To Sarah Orne JewettMay 10, 1908, from Ravello, ItalyHarvard 

What a beautiful place! Camellias and roses in bloom all around. Room overlooks the Gulf of Salerno, as blue as the water in a [Pierre] Puvis de Chavannes painting. Yesterday a festival celebrating the arrival of the skull of St. Andrew in Amalfi seven hundred years ago, but enjoyment interrupted by the arrival of some people she used to know in Nebraska. [Alice] Meynell's essays about Italy in the book Jewett gave her are very fine, especially the essay "The Lesson of Landscape," but A. E. Housman writes with equal truthfulness, and she includes a transcription of his "The Olive," a poem he gave her that she has never seen in print. The "White Heron" and the Dunnet ladies [references to copies of books by Jewett] are always with her.    Willa Cather   [Stout #138]

To Sarah Orne JewettOct. 24, [1908], from 82 Washington Place, New YorkHarvard 

Is pleased that she and Mrs. Fields liked the first part of Mrs. Ward's story; will send the outline of the rest. Mrs. Fields the only person left who evokes the dignity of the New England past. Has been enjoying Fields's poems. She and Edith Lewis liking their apartment. Get their own dinner three evenings a week and go to the Brevoort [Hotel] the other nights. Fears Jewett won't like her story in the December issue.   Willa   [Stout #140]

To Sarah Orne JewettDec. 19, [1908], from New York ; Harvard 

Has read her letter many times. These past few years has felt confused, tired, drained of energy by the job and has felt cut off from her self. Mr. McClure wants her to become another Ida Tarbell; he doesn't believe she will ever be much of a writer of fiction. Feels as much a beginner in her writing as she ever did, as if she hadn't learned at all. Doesn't even have the feeling of learning about other things, as when she was a teacher. Hectic pace is giving her a bad temperament. Glad to have her salary; needs to help out the family now and then; but could quit now and have enough in the bank to live on for three or four years. Has reread "Martha's Lady," such a beautiful story. Will hope to get up to Boston after Christmas.   Willa   [Stout #145]

To Annie Adams FieldsJune 27, 1909, from LondonHarvard 

Learned of their terrible loss [of Sarah Orne Jewett] yesterday. Cannot accept that Jewett is not still there. Knows how fearful Jewett had been of losing Fields; had loved her so dearly for so long. Sailing next week. Will let her know as soon as she lands in New York. Shares her grief.   Willa   [Stout #162]

To Annie Adams FieldsJuly 13, [1909], from aboard the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse ; Harvard 

Her letter was a comfort, especially the account of how peaceful Jewett was. Keeps dreaming they are both still there together. Receipt of this letter will show she has landed.    Willa   [Stout #163]

To Mrs. George P. Cather [Aunt Franc]Jan. 5, 1910, from 82 Washington Place, New YorkUNL-Ray 

Wishing her a belated happy New Year. Has been managing the magazine by herself since returning to New York in the fall. Has been unwell, so has had not only little time but little energy. Isabelle McClung with her from early November through Christmas; helped a great deal with shopping and the training of a new maid, so the apartment is now very pleasant. Always feels homesick at Christmas; seems everyone in New York suffers from homesickness then. Last year went to the children's service at Trinity Church on Christmas Eve and people were crying all around her. Probably wishing to be back at some small town. Is glad Jack and Elsie put out holly and evergreens in the cemetery for her at Christmas. Both such nice children. Elsie will be nicer when she gets older and not so sure of herself. Enjoys thinking of Bessie [Elizabeth Seymour] and Auntie [Sarah Andrews, sister of Mary Virginia Cather] being together and less burdened by care. Used to find it so hard not being able to do anything for them. Mother seems in better spirits lately. Is anticipating a Grand Jury investigation as a result of McClure's articles on Tammany and prostitution. Expects to go to London again in a few months but hopes to get back to Nebraska in the summer. Hopes to have as nice a visit as this past summer, when Mother did not seem to begrudge her visiting in the country. Please let her known if Bess and Auntie need anything. Sends love and best wishes.   Willie   [Stout #168]

To Mrs. George P. Cather [Aunt Franc]Feb. 22, 1911UNL-Ray 

Another busy winter. Elsie made her first visit to New York at Christmas; they had a wonderful time except for worrying about Mother, who'd hurt herself in a fall. Elsie liked the apartment and the colored maid, who has taken over all housekeeping cares. Health is better this winter, though working all summer while Mr. McClure was ill in Europe wore her down. Had some time away to recuperate in the fall. Saw Mr. Wiener a few weeks ago; he is still himself, in spite of having made so much money. Isabelle visiting and sends her greeting. Hears from Howard Gore that he is going to the coronation of the king of Siam, whom he knew years ago. Wishes he wouldn't pursue aristocrats, but vanity seems endemic to Washington. Hears that Bessie and Auntie are well, and that she and Uncle George are too. May have to go to England in April. Hopes to receive a letter from her before going.   Willie   [Stout #188]

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