Yours Willa Cather
Louise Pound

The Story Behind the 1892 Letter to Louise Pound

Willa Cather moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, to attend the University of Nebraska in the fall of 1890, when she was sixteen years old. It was probably during the first year, when Cather was a “second prep” student, that she met Louise Pound.

1908 Letter to Sarah Orne Jewett

The Story Behind the 1908 Sarah Orne Jewett Letter

Willa Cather met Jewett in 1908 at Annie Adams Fields’s home while in Boston on assignment for McClure’s Magazine.

Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant

The Story Behind the 1912 Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant Letter

In 1912, Cather made a decision that changed the direction of her career. She had been working at McClure’s Magazine for a half dozen years and had risen to become its managing editor.

Annie Adams Fields

The Story Behind the 1912 Annie Adams Fields Letter

Annie Adams Fields was 74 years old when Willa Cather met her, and the older woman gave Cather a connection to the rich literary past of the United States.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

The Story Behind the 1921 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Letter

In 1902, when Cather went on her first trip to Europe, she met Canfield in Paris. Accompanying them on their tour of the city was Evelyn Osborne, a woman whom Canfield had befriended. Osborne had a large scar on one side of her face, and Canfield knew Cather got the idea for the story from her.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

The Story Behind the 1922 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Letter

In February 1922, as Cather was finishing her new novel 'One of Ours', she asked fellow writer and old friend Dorothy Canfield Fisher to read page proofs and tell her “if you notice anything that seems to you misleading as to facts, or false as to taste.”

President Masaryk

The Story Behind the 1925 President Masaryk Letter

At some point, Willa Cather's work caught the eye of Tomáš Masaryk, a philosopher, sociologist, and political activist who became the first president of Czechoslovakia when it formed as an independent republic in 1918.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Story Behind the 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald Letter

F. Scott Fitzgerald was 28 years old when he wrote Cather a letter from the island of Capri in Italy. “As one of your greatest admirers,” he began, “I want to write to explain an instance of apparent plagiarism which some suspicious person may presently bring to your attention.”

Irene Miner Weisz

The Story Behind the 1926 Irene Miner Weisz Letter

The sales of 'The Professor’s House' gave Cather a windfall that allowed her to buy a mink coat. She wanted to be prudent and get it insured, and she knew her friend Irene Miner Weisz’s husband could help her.

Annie Pavelka

The Story Behind the 1936 Annie Pavelka Letter

In Cather’s personal copy of My Ántonia, there is a folded up letter from Anna Pavelka written on December 22, 1918. It begins “Dear friend” and invites Cather to a dinner in honor of the wedding of her daughter Julia Pavelka, one of her ten children.

Edith Lewis

The Story Behind the 1936 Edith Lewis Letter

Willa Cather and Edith Lewis shared a home together for nearly forty years. They met in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1903 when Cather was visiting from Pittsburgh. Lewis remembered being struck deeply by Cather in that first meeting: “Willa Cather’s eyes were like a a direct communication of her spirit. "