In a letter, Cather tells her correspondent that she now likes Merimee best among the French writers.
According to Not Under Forty, Merimee was a dramatist as well as a writer of novels and short stories. His most famous work is the novella Carmen that served as the inspiration for Bizet's opera. In Not Under Forty Cather does not specify which of Merimee's works she read. She only acknowledges that "the ear can immediately recognize Flaubert, Stendhal, Merimee, Thomas Hardy, Conrad, Brahms, Cezar Franck," and later, "where is the man who could cut one sentence from the stories of Merimee?"