A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

590 letters found

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To Mrs. Helen StowellMay 31, 1889 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Won Latin prize at end of school year. Grades of 90 in rhetoric, 95 in Latin, and 100s in physics, astronomy, and ancient history. Teacher wrote a message in report card praising her literary interests. Has fixed up a room at father's office as a library. Is reading the Latin Bible, astronomy, geology, history, Homer, Milton, Swinburne, Ouida, and George Sand. Sister Jessie in school musicale yesterday. Mother, Mrs. Wiener, Mrs. Garber, and husbands [Charles F. Cather, Charles F. Wiener, and Silas Garber] had a picnic. Longs to go to Europe. Mary Miner doing well at piano. P.S.: As usual, Cather house is a gathering place for young people to flirt.  William Cather, Jr.   [Stout #2]

To Mrs. Helen StowellAug. 28, 1889 from Red Cloud, Nebr. on father's letterhead ; WCPM 

Has been studying Greek and reading Bulwer-Lytton and Dickens. Brothers Roscoe and Douglass competed in the Firemen's State Tournament. Is serving as a reporter for the Republican, edited by Dr. McKeeby. Has been to picnics in the Garbers' grove. Local couple flirting ridiculously. Jessie, Roscoe, and Douglass singing in cantata. Is going to baseball game in Superior, Nebraska, with Mary and Hugh Miner. Is going to dance at platform in the Garbers' grove tonight.   Willa Cather   [Stout #3]

To Louise Pound[May?] 1892, poem in Cather's hand ; Duke 

[Titled "After-Glow." Six quatrains describing an intensely emotional experience in a theater setting. Accompanying letter referred to in #0013 is not in the file.]   [Stout #9]

To Louise Pound,  n.d. [June 15, 1892, according to note signed by Olivia Pound] from LincolnDuke 

Is writing after midnight, having left her for the last time before summer vacation. Felt overcome by the sight of Louise in her new dress. After much thought, chose the Rubáiyát [of Omar Khayyám, in popular translation by Edward FitzGerald] as a going-away gift. Reason she was not very sociable was prospect of parting. Wanted to make the traditional gesture of goodbye but feared Louise might be revolted. Not fair that friendships between women are regarded as not natural. Letter may be even more foolish than one left unsent in March.    William   [Stout #10]

To Louise PoundAug. 6, 1892 from Red Cloud, Nebr.Duke 

Is returning some books whose presence makes her unhappy. Louise may throw them away or do whatever she chooses with them.    William   [Stout #11]

To Mariel GereJune 1, 1893 from Red Cloud, Nebr. on father's letterhead ; WCPM 

Had to leave without saying goodbye because of grandmother's illness. Brother James has the measles. Sister Elsie prates of Willie and "Willwese" [for Louise]. Louise dislikes the name Willa but will not call her Love in front of others. Could Mariel and her sisters come to visit? Louise may do so. Mrs. Wiener's health has improved, and Mrs. Garber is her pleasant self.   W. Cather   [Stout #12]

To Mariel GereJune 16, 1894 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Children were all dressed up for her homecoming. Is reading Virgil and botanizing. Mr. Wiener now boarding at Mrs. Garber's. Thanks for being mainstay during past winter and spring, when she [Cather] was despairing over the loss of what she had lived for. Appreciates her patience these past years while she raved over a certain girl's beauty, charm, and talent; rhapsodized over merely touching that person's hand; and suffered through the loss of love. Loving too much is a mistake. Hopes they can meet in Crete [Nebr.] Douglass may come, too.   Willa   [Stout #17]

To Grace [Broady]Aug. 29, 1894 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM , copy also at LincCity

Is sending clipping from the Auburn Granger, so scathing she may never be able to go to Brownsville again. Pictures were excellent, especially those of the Episcopal church after they piled the prayer benches into the aisle. Such fun! School grind starting again soon. Will be in Lincoln about September 20.   Willa Cather   [Stout #18]

To Mariel, Ellen, and Frances [Gere], Allie [Althea Roberts], and Maysie [Mary Ames]Jan. 2, 1896 from "Siberia" ; WCPM 

Enjoyed visiting Katharine and her brother, who is more charming than ever. Quoted Ella Wheeler Wilcox to each other. Attended New Year's dance with Douglass—a rustic event. Could Mariel retrieve her [Cather's] copy of Daudet's Sapho from Sarah Harris? Doesn't know when she will be back in Lincoln. Here in the country might as well be dead. Is indifferent to everything, even suicide.    Willa   [Stout #21]

To Mariel GereMar. 12, [1896] from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Feels exiled. Why doesn't Mariel write? Cooks sometimes to relieve boredom. Rides bicycle when weather permits. Planned and orchestrated a wedding breakfast for her [Cather's] cousin and Hugh Miner. Looked after the children the previous week while parents went to Hastings. Enjoys playing cards and going visiting with Douglass and Roscoe, when he comes to town. Has been reading Arabian Nights and Alice in Wonderland to James.   Willa   [Stout #22]