A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Mariel GereApr. 25, 1897 on Home Monthly letterhead ; WCPM 

Why hasn't she written? Is lonely since visit by Dorothy Canfield. Dorothy likes the young doctor who wants to marry her [Cather]. Would be a good match, but doesn't care for him. Magazine is trashy, but is doing her job as instructed. Social life going well, with none of the old problems (short hair, Dr. Tyndale, bohemianism) to mess her up.    Willa   [Stout #37]

To Mrs. Alice E. D. GoudyMay 3, [1908], from Naples, ItalyWCPM 

Has just returned from a week in the Apennines. Spent two days in Pompeii and is enjoying the Pompeiian collection at the Naples Museum, also the beautiful Bay of Naples. The classical world seems close at hand. Has regained enough Latin to read Tacitus and Suetonius. Remembers seeing a picture of the bust of Caesar in a textbook when Mr. Goudy was her teacher, and now has seen it at the museum. Farmers working their fields just as in Virgil's Georgics. Goes on to Rome next week.   Willa   [Stout #137]

To Guglielmo FerreroNov. 28, 1908, on McClure's letterhead ; Columbia 

Would he write three articles, two on Julius Caesar and one on Antony and Cleopatra, with an option for two more after the first is published? $300 per article.    Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #142]

To Guglielmo FerreroNov. 30, [1908]Columbia 

Understands his thinking the three articles too general. Would he do the two on Julius Caesar for $500 each?    Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #143]

To Guglielmo FerreroDec. 28, 1908, on McClure's letterhead ; Columbia 

Would like to discuss illustrations for the articles on Julius Caesar.   Willa Sibert Cather   [Stout #146]

To Dr. Julius TyndaleSept. 21, [1921], from Red Cloud, Nebr.UVa 

He may find this telegram from her publisher interesting. It's about the new novel. [Encloses copy of telegram from Alfred Knopf praising One of Ours, still in typescript.]   Willa Cather   [Stout #553]

To Irene Miner Weisz,  Monday [Oct. 31, 1921] , from LincolnNewberry 

Heard that some people in the audience thought she used the word "smart" to mean "shrewd." She meant it in the sense of style. Glad she came, because Dr. Tyndale enjoyed it.   Willa   [Stout #557]

To Lydia Lambrecht,  n.d. [pm. June 12, 1940] , from New YorkNewberry 

Is sending a little money to help out. Congratulations to Julius on Super-Anxiety II. [Encloses a letter from a member of the English Department of Hastings College, Frank S. Hewett, to a Mrs. Woodward, identifying Julius as the brother of Lydia Lambrecht and owner of a prize bull named Super-Anxiety.]   Willa Cather   [Stout #1486]

To Elsie Cather [September 1922] UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Claude [One of Ours] seems to have caused a commotion. People are reading the novel incorrectly as a position statement as if in a debate. Friends including Mencken and Fanny Butcher do not like it. They expected another My Antonia. Can't be expected to do the same things again and again, but hates to lose friends. They claim the book lacks the deep human touch of the earlier books and think she tried to write a spectacular war novel. Many like the book a lot, but they are not the people she hoped to satisfy. In life and in art there are always tradeoffs. Has lost friends but advanced technically as a writer. Please read enclosed reviews to Dr. Tyndale, even though his mind is feeble with age and drugs. If she reads them aloud, he'll understand a little, and he deserves whatever pleasures he can get. She herself is the only thing in his life that has succeeded. Confidentially: Knopf has sold 15,000 copies with 18,000 in reserve—a gamble that will pinch him if there are no re-orders. He invested heavily in the book but says if he goes under on it so be it. Gets thirty-seven cents herself for each copy sold. Sinclair [Lewis] review in tonight's New York Evening Post calls it a failure and asks why a woman should write about war. Why indeed? But the topic chose her, she had to do it. Skip the Lewis review with Dr. Tyndale, but do read Zoë's and both of Burton Rascoe's. Will send Heywood Broun's review later. Is in bed and not feeling very literary. Just returned yesterday, hasn't even unpacked. Has seen only Knopf, but has received a lot of correspondence offering both congratulations and condolences!   Willie 

To Mary Virginia Cather,  Tuesday [November 25, 1924?] UNL-Southwick 

Sends Thanksgiving greetings. Mary Virginia is spending Thanksgiving with a friend in town and has been invited to come on Friday for belated turkey dinner and stay over. Thursday is occupied with engagements: dinner with the Knopfs and a box at the Boston Symphony with a party afterwards. Is not looking forward to it, as she prefers to hear music alone. However, cannot let people think her reclusive. Does little Helen Louise need a new coat? Doesn't want to be too indulgent, but would like to send another. Please find out her Christmas wishes. Dr. Tyndale says that Louise Westermann is very ill. Happy Thanksgiving.   Willie