Skip to main content

#0284: Willa Cather to Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, [June 23, 1914]

More about this letter…
Plain view:

Guide to Reading Letter Transcriptions

Some of these features are only visible when "plain text" is off.

Textual Feature Appearance
passage deleted with a strikethrough mark deleted passage
passage deleted by overwritten added letters overwritten passage
passage added above the line passage with added text above
passage added on the line passage with added text inline
passage added in the margin passage with text added in margin
handwritten addition to a typewritten letter typed passage with added handwritten text
missing or unreadable text missing text noted with "[illegible]"
uncertain transcriptions word[?]
notes written by someone other than Willa Cather Note in another's hand
printed letterhead text printed text
text printed on postcards, envelopes, etc. printed text
text of date and place stamps stamped text
passage written by Cather on separate enclosure. written text
1180 Murray Hill Avenue4 My Dear Elsie1:

I went to wildest Maine5 June 7th and got home only yesterday. My letters awaited me here, so you had no word formfromme. As I went direct to Portland6 via New York7, I didn’t go near you. I had a glorious time with Fremstad8 and when I left her dropped down in Mary Jewett’s9 garden10 for a few days to recover and get rested. While I was in Fremstad’s camp11 we did things every mortal minute except when we were asleep, and even then I dreamed hard. She fished as if she had no other means of getting food; cleaned all the fish, swam like a walrus, rowed, tramped, cooked, watered her garden. I was not much more than an audience—very little help, but it was the grandest show of human vigor and grace I’ve ever watched. I feel as if I’d lived for a long while with the wife of the Dying Gladiator in her husky husky prime, in deep German forests.

1180 Murray Hill Avenue

I think Thornton Oakley12 is a really big man. He once did some wonderful things of Pittsburgh2 and the mills. He’s never commonplace. An illustrated book on Provence13 would have more “drive” in the market of a motor-mad world, than a book of essays; surely. And Scribners are the best people to handle such a book. I should think you could have an absolute unity of treatment throughout the book, and at the end insert several historical studies for such as cared would care for them,—among whom I am one.

The new review14 sounds promising. I wish we had something of that sort.

I am struggling to clear my desk and cannot more than salute you now. I shall be starting for the west soon, I fancy. I stayed in Maine longer than I meant to and now must begin to move rapidly. Miss McClung15 sends her greetings. She will probably go to Italy16 when I go to Wyoming17. I’ll let you know when I go and where. I’ve got to have a run out there before I do much more work.

In haste, yours W.
Miss Elizabeth Sergeant1 4 Hawthorn Road Brookline3 Mass. PITTSBURGH, PA2 JUN 23 1914 5-PM