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#0687: Willa Cather to Blanche Wolf Knopf, June 12 [1920]

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Dear Mrs. Knopf1;

The wonderful basket of fruit you sent me lasted nearly all the way across the ocean4 and did a great deal to help out the monotonous Cunard5 table. The weather was fine and I never felt better than during those eleven days at sea. I got a complete rest and reached Paris2 full of “pep”. After a few days of costly magnificence at the Palaise d’Orsay6 I settled in this quiet hotel, just across the river from the Louvre7. I have two small rooms, four flights up, facing on a quiet court; a bedroom, and a writing room in which I do not write one word! I write even my letters in the Luxembourg Gardens8. The weather is gold and gray all mixed up—anybody would be a fool to shut themselves up with their own ideas with the city, this rather particular city, swimming in light outside. However, in the hours between sleeping and waking, in the hour before lunch and the idleness in the gardens after tea, I’m gradually getting the things I came for.

I live very comfortably for fifty francs a day—food and lodging, that is—which is not much if you consider exchange. Food is not so dear as in New York9, and is of course len[?] ten times better, from the soup to the wonderful deserts. Theaters and music as cheap as ever, excellent seats for two dollars. But all the things in shops are twice as expensive as in New York,—hats, gloves, everything.

The city itself never seemed to me so beautiful, and I find it a great advantage to live on the Seine. The streets are lovelier than anything in the art galleries. The Hambourgs10 will join me in two weeks and after lingering here for a time we will go South together.

With greetings and good wishes to you and Mr. Knopf11

Faithfully yours Willa Cather