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I am so sorry to see that all the Benda4 drawings have been dropped from MY ANTONIA5, though the title page still boldly declares "with illustrations by W. T. Benda"! Don't you think6 that line should be dropped from the title page unless you can restore the drawings to future printings?
But if the title page has to be revised, I beg you on no account to drop the line7 from Virgil8 in italics. When your people made up an edition of O PIONEERS9 for the Riverside Classics10, they dropped out a quotation11 on the title page without consulting me, which I do not think was polite of them.[illegible]
I suppose the fact is that the Benda plates were so badly worn that you decided not
to run them any more
.; and the original drawings are in storage12 with all my goods and
chattels - I would not know how to get at them without demolishing the whole
bBut I like the drawings, and I
miss them very much. When any radical change of that kind is contemplated in the
make-up of a book, couldn't you let me know about it .?
I beg you as a personal favor to find two copies of MY ANTONIA with the Benda illustrations, and have them sent to me. I want them for some friends in France13 to whom the pictures would mean something.abks.[?] Faithfully yours, Willa Cather