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#2670: Willa Cather to Alfred A. Knopf, [October 8, 1933]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Alfred1;

Sorry I have no typewriter, as I could make this clearer. But as I never do a first draft except by hand, I don't carry a machine about.

The plan you outlined3 s suits me perfectly. For heaven's sake no "blurb" or advertising of any sort on the cover4. But, as you suggest in ¶ no. 3, there should be some text on the wrapper. Now here is just the right copy for the jacket—I know it is, because it came to me in a flash. From a meye mere salesman's point of view there is a reason for using the Archbishop's5 real name, at last, along with the name6 given him in the book7. Everyone knows now that he is an historical character. Soon after the book came out I was so bothered by inquiries from protestants, (who didn't see the Commonweal8 in which I explained9 all about Father Lamy) that I had 500 short form letters printed, saying giving the actual Archbishop's real name.

I must have actually sent out over four hundred of these form letters to people who wrote politely (and grammattically grammatically!) to ask if there was ever a real Archbishop. I have only a few dozen of them them left in my desk in New York10.

So I think this text on the wrapper will give the book a little push-off.

Hastily W. S. C.

December Night

A scene from Willa Cather's novel "Death Comes for the Archbishop."

Place = The Episcopal residence and adobe pro-Cathedral at Santa Fé11, some sixty or seventy years ago.

Characters = Jean Baptiste Lamy ("Father Latour") first Archbishop of New Mexico, and Sada, [illegible] a poor Mexican Woman.

(a struggle to write the word 'Adobe' plainly!)