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Mr. Knopf3 told me of your decision4 with regard to the question of transferring
my books5 to him. If the company is
not willing to sell the books to him, then I think it ought to be willing to make
some effort to sell them as if they were live property - not merely "creditable"
books on the list, by Charles Egbert Craddock6
BThaxter7, or somebody long deceased.
Now, I come to the question of "Antonia"8.
Of course, I do not think that in pushing "Antonia" or "O Pioneers"9, it is quite fair for you to disparage10 a book I published last year
or the book I will publish next year. As I told you, I do not like the attitude that
"A Lost Lady"11 was in any sense a
repetition of "Antonia", though Mrs.
Forrester12 was one of the women who employed the "hired girls" to whom
Antonia belonged. (Confidentially, let me
tell you that the real Antonia13 actually did
work for the real Mrs. Forrester14.) The stories are studies of the same
society15, but they are studies of two
very different elements in it, and th
atey are written in a very,
very different way.
Now, as to the preface16. The preface is
not very good; I had a kind of complex about it. I wrote and re
qwrote it, and it was the only thing about the story
that was laborious. But I still think that a preface is necessary, even if it is not
good in itself. Let me take a trial at shortening the preface. The later part of the
book, I am sure, would be vague if the reader did not know something17 about the rather unsuccessful personal life of
Now,Regarding the Benda20
Yyou would, of course, retain those. It is one of the few cases where I
think the pictures really help the story, and I would not be willing21 to leave them out.