A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Will Owen JonesMay 7, 1903 from 1180 Murray Hill PittsburghUVa 

Thanks for launching her with S. S. McClure. Had a telegram from him and has been to New York to see him. Feeling elated, as if her life is now more valuable than before. McClure to run her stories in the magazine, then publish as a book. Will place for her any he does not use. At the McClure house met wife of Robert Louis Stevenson, who had read the stories. Greatly appreciates his help. Other plans afoot. P.S.: Doesn't seem to be able to reach Sarah Harris.  Willa S. Cather   [Stout #84]

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 Elizabeth Shepley SergeantSept. 12, [1912], from 1180 Murray Hill, PittsburghPM 

Spent two weeks in New York getting the winter's work set. Promised the magazine two stories before Christmas. Wants to lengthen the Swedish story and merge it with the other to make a two-part pastoral. British edition of Alexander looks much better than the American. Has been reading Balzac and the disgusting Idiot by Dostoevsky. Thought the first two parts of Creative Evolution [ Bergson ] were splendid. Everyone seems to be celebrating "The Bohemian Girl" except a reader who thought it immoral.   W. S. C.   [Stout #242]

To Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant,  Sunday [pm. Sept. 28, 1914] , from PittsburghPM 

Back from an active summer. Brought along her twenty-year-old brother, who is enrolled at Carnegie Technical. Couldn't put the war out of her mind even when she was in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains [in northern New Mexico]. Shouldn't hear any more about suffrage and such for a while. Recent issues of Punch make one realize how solid England is. Kipling's recent speech was splendid. Will be in New York in October but only for a week; wants to keep working on her book in Pittsburgh until the first of the year.   Willa   [Stout #287]

To Carrie Miner Sherwood,  Sunday [1917?] from New YorkWCPM 

Enclosing the best war book she has read, by a woman from Poland. Honest account of the terrible things she witnessed and experienced. Easy to see why the French fear German domination so.   Willie   [Stout #385]

To Laura Hills,  May Day [1921] , from 38 St. Vincent Street, TorontoPM 

Enjoyed her letter; opened it when she and Isabelle were having tea and has tacked it up in her studio up under the eaves. Is working on a translation of Ántonia into French that will be published in La Nouvelle revue française. Feels proud of that. P.S.: Has met a woman from Boston whose cousin is married to Ms. Hills's cousin—a very nice person.  Willa S. C.   [Stout #543]

To Ferris GreensletNov. 17, 1922, from New YorkHarvard 

Pleased with the sales report, but the copy of Alexander's Bridge hasn't arrived. Did he see her article on Mrs. Fields? ["148 Charles Street," a review of De Wolfe Howe's Memories of a Hostess, 1922, drawn mainly from Annie Adams Fields's diaries] Is going to Red Cloud next week to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas.   Willa Cather   [Stout #643]

To Wilton GraffJuly 19, [1925], from Santa FeWCPM 

[First name of Mr. Graff provided in Bernice Slote papers at UNL.] Has just returned from a long horseback ride in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Appreciates his comments on the book. Will drink his health when she is in Paris next spring. Sorry for having to use hotel stationery.   Willa Cather   [Stout #791]

To Mabel Dodge LuhanMay 26, [1926], from Gallup, N.M.Beinecke 

After stopping for a couple of days with her parents and one day at Lamy, reached Gallup very tired. Had the pleasure of sharing that last part of the train trip with Rin Tin Tin [movie star dog] and made his acquaintance during a stop in Albuquerque. Gallup is an awful place. Going to Zuni tomorrow and to Canyon de Chelly later, if Edith recovers from her cold. Brother and family will meet her at Santa Fe June 14. Will get back to work July 1, but not sure where.   W. S. C.   [Stout #832]

To Blanche KnopfMay 28, [1926], from Gallup, N.M.HRC 

Proofs still haven't arrived. When weather improves will start long horseback trip through Canyon de Chelly. So glad cars can't get there. If they prepare a publicity booklet using the London Mercury article, be sure to let her see proof. So easy to get incorrect biographical information into circulation. Please greet Hambourgs while in Paris. Is feeling fine except eyes hurt from the glare of sunshine. P.S.: After June 1 address will be Hotel La Fonda, Santa Fe.  Willa Cather   [Stout #834]