A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Dorothy Canfield,  n.d. [Mar. 1901] , from PittsburghUVt 

Has finished first month of teaching, but may quit and go home to Red Cloud. So much effort, if one is serious about it, for so little pay. The "letters" have been rejected [projected book of open letters to actors]. Just as well; they were overwritten and not of lasting interest. Maybe some can be placed in the Critic, with Dorothy's help. "Jack-a-Boy" in the Saturday Evening Post with good illustrations. Has been reading Lemaître. McClungs have moved into new house. Would like to discuss the Pittsburgh novel. [Two poems are enclosed: "Caliban" and "The Inexorable."]   Willie   [Stout #68]

To Ferris GreensletApr. 22, [1915]Harvard 

Is enclosing two postcards of Breton's The Song of the Lark; prefers the one in brown tones. How does he like the later chapters of the book? Can't revise until she gets a short story done for McClure's and gets her brother sent back to Pittsburgh.   W. S. C.   [Stout #299]

To Ferris GreensletNov. 26, [1931]Harvard 

Yes, would like new edition of The Song of the Lark without Breton picture on jacket. Can't write preface now; indeed, doesn't want to write any more prefaces, prefers to maintain some mystery. Would not want Commonweal letter about Archbishop to be used as a preface. Please eliminate the verse that follows dedication to Isabelle McClung. Shadows on the Rock doing splendidly.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1087]

To Julian StreetDec. 19, 1939Princeton 

Enjoyed his letter about wines. With a proper cellar, would spend more than she could afford at Bellows. If by Château Cantenac-Brown 1926 he meant Château Brane Cantenac, she likes it better than Mouton-Rothschild. Alfred Knopf gave her six bottles of Brane Cantenac 1900 for Christmas last year. In champagnes, finds Perrier-Jouët too dry; prefers a good year of Louis Roederer. Feels sure he will be horrified by this confession. Looks like a hectic Christmas, with many people in town. Has been rereading Guizot's and Michelet's histories of France. Much better reading than the newspapers.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1463]

To Margaret CroftsFeb. 12, 1941LC 

Has found her last two years' Christmas cards very interesting, though the one last year was rather dreadful. Keeps it in the Michelet volume on the Dark Ages. Glad that she, a southerner, likes the new book. Spent a pleasant Christmas in the French Hospital, where the director is an old friend.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1526]

To Roscoe CatherMarch 2, [1908] on McClure's Magazine letterhead, from BostonUNL-Roscoe 

Has been in Boston since January and is now, after a couple of weeks with Mrs. Deland, back in the comfortable, old-fashioned Parker House. Has been seeing many remarkable people, including Winthrop Ames, an arts patron interested in Ibsen who has an air of ennui and the grandson of Otis [actually, Oliver] Ames. Listening to him talk, one thinks of that rocky monument to the Ames brothers on the mountain [near Laramie, Wyoming], and knows that they were not bothered with ennui. Oh, well, it is difficult being one of the first generation of sophisticates—think of the talk they heard about the Troll Garden. Is sailing for Naples with Isabelle on either April 8 on the Carpathia or on April 11 on the Freiderich der Grosse. Itinerary includes Naples, Capri, and Pompeii, Rome, a 300-mile walk along the Mediterranean from Monte Carlo to Marseilles, Arles, Avignon, and finally Paris. Seems odd to go to Rome after its long life in her imagination and education. One could say that Rome, London, and Paris were the three main cities in Nebraska. May or may not stop at London; has letters of introduction to Kipling, Maurice Hewlett, Barrie, and Conan Doyle, among others, but is more interested in places and ancient ruins than people right now. By comparison with Roman civilization, our own looks pretty shabby. The Roman civilization is still preserved in southern France, where people still live as in Virgil's Georgics. Has bought Roscoe several excellent pictures in Boston: Van Dyck's self-portrait, The Windmill (old Dutch), The Song of the Lark by Jules Breton, Wyeth's Calling the Moose and Indian Hunter, "The Dinkey Bird is Singing in the Amfalulu Tree" by Maxfield Parrish, and Remington's Caught in the Circle, all for $16.23, which Roscoe now owes her. Hopes he and Meta like them. If he doesn't appreciate the Van Dyck, she will be angry, as she has one and loves it. It was Jessie who thought he would like The Song of the Lark. Would have preferred to send older French and Dutch images herself, but thought he might prefer these moderns. Does he like The Queen's Quaire?   Willie