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#1130: Willa Cather to Ferris Greenslet, October 31, 1932

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Mr. Hoyt* ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Mr. Greenslet1:

I found your letter3 awaiting me when I got back from Chicago4. As soon as possible I had a long talk with Alfred Knopf5, and I think he has written you regarding our decision. I feel more strongly than ever that I want to keep out of cheap editions. I certainly would use every means within my power to keep ANTONIA6 and SHADOWS ON THE ROCK7 from going into a cheap edition. As for DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP8, unfortunately, in a careless momen9t I consented to let it go into The Modern Library. Students, therefore, can buy that edition for ninety-nine cents. I certainly believe that a book of this sort is absolutely ruined for young readers by an introduction and explanatory notes.

But I cannot explain all my reasons very well by letter, and I am waiting until I next see you to tell you exactly how I feel in this matter and why I feel so. Since you seem to personally wish to make a cheap edition of the ARCHBISHOP, I awfully hate to refuse you - but I let the book go into The Modern Library simply because I hated to be disobliging, and the result has been a very considerable money loss both to Alfred Knopf and to me. My whole preference is to sell a few books and to make a dignified royalty on them; to have fewer readers and better readers. But there, I am becoming involved and I cannot really explain this properly by letter. I shall have to wait until I see you to justify my position.

Faithfully yours, Willa Cather rh!