A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

23 letters found

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To Ferris GreensletJuly 17, [1932], from Grand MananHarvard 

Here she is trying to eliminate cheap editions and Cape gets one out. But Murray must have had authority to sell British paperback rights. Is sending Cape a preface just to make sure it won't look like a new book. Houghton Mifflin may use it in future if they wish. Staying until September.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1116]

To Houghton Mifflin?,  Notes on backs of photographs [prob. in connection with work on Autograph Edition] 1937 or 1938Harvard 

Approves photo in striped front with open collar and hat with flowers, though it makes her complexion look like a Negro's. May approve 1920 passport photo and snapshot made in Ville d'Avray with dog or cat, but they aren't good prints so can't tell. Doesn't like reduction of photo made by Nicholas Murray in 1924, in ornate jacket, because all shadows are bleached out. Doesn't like print from photo by Ensminger in 1937 because contrasts of blacks and whites are too severe. Does not approve the Steichen photo in middy blouse.   [Stout #1389]

To Zoë AkinsNov. 13, [1938], from Jaffrey, N.H.Huntington 

Douglass, the brother she most loved, died in June of a sudden heart attack. He had spent her birthday with her last December. Only four months later, on October 10, Isabelle died. Wrote many letters to inform people— the only service she could give Isabelle. Feels emotionally numb. Regrets Yehudi's wife takes such bad pictures. She is Scotch, not Jewish. Feels confident it is a good marriage. Was happy to see them. Then Douglass died the next week. P.S.: No, does not like Hephzibah's mother-in-law.  Willa   [Stout #1423]

To President Butler [ American Academy of Arts and Letters ]Nov. 16, [1938]AAAL 

Regrets having received his letter only today. Is grateful to accept election to the Academy. Has heard many of his public statements, with which she agrees. Senses the country is drifting toward dreadful events contrary to its traditional values and daily experience.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1425]

To President ButlerNov. 25, 1938, from Jaffrey, N.H.AAAL 

In accordance with Mrs. Vanamee's request, is sending this formal acceptance of membership in the Academy.   Willa Cather   [Stout #1426]

To Dorothy Canfield FisherMar. 5, [1939]UVt 

Has not been writing many letters recently, except to family and to friends of Isabelle. In December 1937 brother Douglass came to New York to spend her birthday with her. He died on June 13, 1938, age fifty-two, the only joyful and attractive member of the family. On October 10 Isabelle died in Sorrento of nephritis after four-year illness, during which her loving though unreliable husband cared for her. This has been the hardest year of her life. Is enclosing a letter from Jan Hambourg. Please return it, but don't write back. Is worn out with letters about Isabelle. Enjoyed [the picture of ?] Dorothy's two granddaughters. Enjoyed having her two nieces with her at Grand Manan in the summers of 1936 and 1937. Both married this year—as well as three Menuhins! Likes Yehudi's wife. Appreciates receiving Dorothy's new book and will read it soon. Eyes giving her trouble, but what is worse is the trouble of keeping people away who want to come and comfort her. Doesn't want them; wants quiet for reflection.   Willa   [Stout #1440]

To Zoë AkinsMay 20, [1939?]Huntington 

Was ill with influenza from February until end of April. Was in Atlantic City in March, but it rained all the time. Only cheerful spot of entire winter was the presence of Yehudi Menuhin and his wife. Can't get over loss of Douglass and Isabelle. Has been too ill and glum to work. Hasn't even been writing letters. Failed to thank her for the nice cutting board; will keep it at Grand Manan. Wishes to be back at Bank Street and Zoë on Fifth Avenue. P.S.: The current state of the world casts a cloud over everything.  Willa   [Stout #1452]

To Carrie Miner SherwoodJune 28, 1939WCPM 

Is sending a book she meant to send at Christmas, about several modern writers [apparently including herself]. Recommends she read chapter in School of Femininity, by Margaret Lawrence. Only Carrie and Mary, among people in Red Cloud, would read it without feeling spiteful. Has heard someone in Red Cloud claims to be the original of Lucy Gayheart, but Carrie knows who the skater was. Does she remember for sure the color of Sadie Becker's eyes? Hasn't been writing letters; still can't get over grieving for Douglass. They had such a joyful time when he came for her birthday. Will never be the same since losing both him and Isabelle. Only the affection of the Menuhins cheered her this past year. Enjoys knowing Yehudi's wife P.S.: Sorry to have missed seeing Father Fitzgerald; was in New Hampshire. Leaving for Canada soon.  Willie   [Stout #1455]

To Yaltah MenuhinDec. 19, [1939]Princeton 

Enjoyed the birthday letter, but hopes she did it only on impulse, not from duty. As Edith has already written, Yehudi and Nola brought the baby for her to see. Saw the three of them in the park the day of Yehudi's recital at Carnegie Hall. Has sent Yaltah's mother some books.   Aunt Willa   [Stout #1464]

To Carrie Miner SherwoodJan. 29, [1940?]WCPM 

Showed Dr. Lewis's letter to an orthopedic surgeon, and he understood the nature of Mollie's injury from the description and agreed with the treatment. Is sending a check to help pay for nurse. Would like to cover the cost of the nursing, if Carrie will let her know how much. Very cold here; has had bronchitis. Appreciated her letter and Mary's. Yehudi and wife now gone to California.   Willie   [Stout #1468]