A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Mary Virginia CatherFebruary 21, [1919]UNL-Southwick 

A British journalist from the London Daily Mail is coming to do an interview, someone she met at Lady Spyer's, so doesn't have much time. He says she is well-liked in London. Doesn't have the flu and doesn't expect to get it, since didn't catch it from Edith. Was planning to have operation this week, but Dr. Patterson's treatments may be enough. Sees that the baby [Helen Louise Cather?] is in Red Cloud, so know she is busy. Received many flowers for Valentine's Day from boys who like her writing. Had an excellent Friday tea with many British people, a Spanish tenor, and many youthful writers. Is very proud that so many young writers respect her work. Josephine cooks wonderfully, and really appreciated the fresh butter from Bess and Auntie at Christmas. During the blizzard last week went for a walk in Central Park. Story about Mrs. Meyers was something! Loves her and Miss Blumer's dresses and wears them often. Give regards to Ethel and the baby. PS: Enclosed letter is for Virginia.  Willie 

To H. G. DwightApril 5, [1916], from 5 Bank Street, New YorkAmherst 

[Also included: a calling card with "Miss Willa Sibert Cather/ Fridays/ Five Bank Street" printed on it, with a note in Cather's hand saying that she is welcoming visitors on Friday afternoons until May 1; a second calling card, with "Miss Willa Sibert Cather" printed on it and, in what appears to be Isabelle McClung Hambourg's hand, "Mr. Dwight—We shall be here by half past eight—Will you please wait for us —"]Thanks for dropping her name in the preface to his wonderful book [Stamboul Nights, Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, Page & Company, 1916], which she just received from Pittsburgh. Knows three of the stories, and will know the others within a day (we write slowly but read quickly). Please come to visit some Friday. May and Marie Willard left recently. Perhaps Roselle, New Jersey, is too distant, but hopes he can make the journey some Friday.   Willa Cather 

To Roscoe Cather, February 13, 1910 on McClure's Magazine letterhead ; UNL-Roscoe 

Has had a crazy winter too, but unlike Roscoe's it wasn't from weather. Has had to deal with all kinds of problems while Mr. McClure in Europe. Was ill with bronchitis in December, and Isabelle came to nurse her. Even then had to work on the magazine, for magazines, like sick infants, have to be constantly fed. Thankfully she had the Russian material and the Paoli article [Xavier, Paoli, "Recollections of the Shah of Persia," McClure's Magazine 24.5 (March 1910): 525-538] that she secured when in England. Is improved now, but still has to rest and consume milk like a child. Has had good success with the the magazine, however; profits up $60,000 from the previous year. Doesn't get any of that money herself, but does get praise. Do read the March issue, as she worked hard on it, and definitely read "A Joint in the Harness" ["Ole Luk-Oie" {pseudonym of Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton}, "A Joint in the Harness," McClure's Magazine 24.5 (March 1910): 547-557], which she got in England. Would appreciate his telling her what pieces he likes and doesn't like; it's helpful when people tell her their reactions forthrightly. Certainly doesn't like everything that gets published herself! Has written Mrs. Goudy and Mrs. Fulton. Thanks for the silk stockings at Christmas. Has he seen darling Mary Virginia since she started talking? Has received a letter from Aunt Franc; enjoyed visiting with her, Auntie, and Bess last summer. Loves that far-off, quiet country. If health permits, will go to England in May, and wishes Roscoe could go, too, as she longs for a good talk with him. Wishes she could come out to Lander, but job is very demanding—more so than running Sandy Point. What has become of Jim Yeiser, anyway? Can't get into one letter all the interesting things she'd like to tell him. Will shrug off the office and catch a train west one of these days.   Willie 

To Roscoe CatherJune 12, 1935UNL-Roscoe 

Is sending Virginia's letter back for him to keep. Clearly she is thinking through matters herself, and that is preferable to Roscoe's or Cather's doing the thinking. Thanks for the interest check. Did he get Mary Virginia's notification of her wedding? It was a beautiful ceremony in the "Little Church Around the Corner," the same church father liked to rest in when he visited. Both Mary Virginia and Adelaide looked lovely. Isabelle Hambourg insisted on going to the wedding in spite of her illness and even to the reception afterwards in Donovan's [Albert Donovan?] apartment. Has known Dick Mellen, the groom, since Mary Virginia's engagement last autumn. He is from a fine Vermont family. Liked to read the letters from his mother to Mary Virginia, which were so loving and gracious. Mellen is a smart, somewhat withdrawn graduate of Harvard Medical School and was Thomas Auld's roommate in Amherst. He even has met Mary Virginia's mother and father! Thinks it is a good match, and Mary Virginia will certainly be helpful to him as he develops a medical practice. For the next two years, however, he will be interning at Bellevue Hospital, which will be trying for them. Mary Virginia will continue to work at the library and will have to be alone often. Did not get involved with the decision, but once they determined to be married immediately, tried to be of help to them. Please forward letter to West Virginia if she is not with Roscoe. Will inform him of her own intentions later. Will stay in New York with ailing Isabelle for now.   Willa. 

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