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#0718: Willa Cather to Ferris Greenslet, February 17 [1924]

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F.G. ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Mr. Greenslet1;

Yes, I'd much rather do this3 than make my fortune at the various lucrative commissions that are constantly pressed upon me.

In the first place I must ask you send me down a complete set of the books, the original edition. The safest way is to for me to cut them up myself and bind them up into volumes in the sequence that seems best.

The first volume, of course, would take in all the Pointed Fir4 sketches, including "The Queen's Twin"5, "A Dunnet Shepherdess"6, and "William's Wedding"7. The second volume8, if one took only the very best, would be an equally fat one. "Deephaven"9 is charming, but I don't think it belongs with Miss Jewett's10 best mature work.

The librarian at the branch library round the corner tells m me that the young intellectuals of Greenwich Village2 sometimes ask vaguely for "some of Sarah Jewett's books", but when she produces volumes like "The White Heron"11 they finger them, say they look like children's books, and leave them on the desk. E She thinks their physical appearance is so much against them with this generation. I rather love those dumpy little books myself, but if you are going to make an appeal to the reading public of today I think the stories ought to have a fresh envelope and be put issued in standard-size volumes with good clear type12,-(I would suggest type like that you used in "Antonia"13)--some type that does not look like text-book type. I don't mean that I think the books ought to look loud, naturally, but modern.

If you send me down the books at once I will get to work in any spare moments I have. You can be setting the new volumes while I do the introduction. And, by the way, I do wish you would come to see me sometime when you are in town.

Faithfully yours Willa Cather

Mrs. Knopf14 has just sold the movie movie rights of "A Lost Lady"15 for me for twelve thousand.