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#1649: Willa Cather to Mr. Phillipson, December 23, 1943

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Mr. Phillipson1:

No, you are mistaken. Thea Kronberg3 was done4 from a great singer5 whom I greatly admired, and whose life I knew very well. I agree with you that a good deal of the required reading in public schools was either stuffy or dull. Silas Lapham6 and The House of the Seven Gables7, for example. But I think you are mistaken about Silas Marner8. The tempo there is slow, because life was slower then - distance is greater. I happened to read it over again this summer, in a remote, quiet place9. It has some of the faults which were characteristic of its time, but that is great writing - deep and rich, and it has the strength of the country out of which it grows. Perhaps one has to have lived in England10, or made long stays there, to feel how truly it is of English earth.

With all the good wishes of the season,

Sincerely yours, Willa Cather