Some of these features are only visible when "plain text" is off.
|passage deleted with a strikethrough mark|
|passage deleted by overwritten added letters|
|passage added above the line||passage with added text above|
|passage added on the line||passage with added text inline|
|passage added in the margin||passage with text added in margin|
|handwritten addition to a typewritten letter||typed passage with added handwritten text|
|missing or unreadable text||missing text noted with "[illegible]"|
|notes written by someone other than Willa Cather||Note in another's hand|
|printed letterhead text||printed text|
|text printed on postcards, envelopes, etc.||printed text|
|text of date and place stamps||stamped text|
|passage written by Cather on separate enclosure.||written text|
I am going to ask a favor of you and I have put it off a long time. Under another
cover I am sending you a book of drawings3 by young
Stephen Tennant4, the fourth son of
Baron Glenconner5. Anne Douglas Sedgwick6 wrote to me some twelve years
ago and asked if she might give this boy permission to write to me. Since then
Stephen and I have been good friends, and two years ago he spent the winter at the
in Jaffrey8 and gained thirty pounds. He is a very handsome
fellow, with great talent, but very frail
health. I enclose with this letter two of the notices which greeted his book in
England9. The review10
Connolly11 is really very discerning12.
Of course, since the book has attracted attention in England and has delighted
Margot Asquith13, Stephen's publishers do
not see why they should not be able to export a few hundred sheets to the States.
promised Stephen that I would present his book for the consideration of the only two
publishers with whom I have direct relations. I made this promise before I saw the
.! He warned me that the tone was ribald. But when it
arrived I saw at once that it wasn't the kind of ribaldness that goes in America (I
think myself that these sketches, done in
1929, were a natural reaction of the
young man's upbringing, which was very puritanical). Viscount Grey14 was a firm stepfather and his feeling about "Nature"
was certainly very
⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ different from young Tennant's; I
should liked to have heard their breakfast table conversation.
You will enjoy looking through this book,- the drawings are really remarkable, you know. All I beg of you is to write me a personal letter15, telling me how the book strikes you and giving me a few words of explanation as to why it would be rather impossible for an American publisher to handle this book. (Of course, if you know of any publisher who would be able to use imported sheets, I would be delighted to send the book to him.) It is difficult to explain to Stephen why, when we are so indecent in some things, we draw the line at others: certainly we simply won't stand for any "lyrical beauty", as Mr. Connolly calls it. We want Hemingway16 and words of four letters, without any perfume.
I hate to bother you about this, but you see I promised the young man (he is twenty-nine, but he seems about nineteen) that I would show you and Alfred17 his book, and I have to keep my word. Alfred wrote me a nice letter to send him and I don't feel that I am imposing on you greatly when I ask you for one, because I think you will really enjoy running through the book some evening. Please return the two press cuttings and mail the volume back to me when you have looked it over.Faithfully yours, W. S. C.
On second thought I decide to enclose a letter in which Stephen comments on, and explains, the book himself. Please return it to me. All his letters are illustrated like this—he does them at top speed—in a few minutes.