|Title:||Willa Cather letters|
|Collection No.:||MSN/MN 3001|
|Creator:||Cather, Willa, 1873-1947|
|Extent:||2 folders; 2 items|
|Language:||Collection material in English|
|Repository:||University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556|
|Abstract:||Two unrelated letters written by the major American author Willa Cather (1873-1947). The first is to a "Mr. Towne" and is dated 17 November . The second is written to Brother Emil Mohr, CSC, and is dated 7 May 1937.|
Cather, Willa, 1873-1947--Correspondence
Novelists, American--20th century--Correspondence
Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Preferred Citation: Willa Cather Letters, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.
Acquisition and Processing Note: The circumstances surrounding the acquisition of these letters by the Hesburgh Libraries are not known. Arranged and described 2010, by George Rugg. EAD 2013, by Kenneth Kinslow.
Willa Cather (1873-1947) was born in Virginia, but as a child, moved with her family to a farm near Red Cloud, Nebraska, where she grew up among the immigrants who are the subjects of many of her novels. Upon graduating from the University of Nebraska, she accepted a position in Pittsburgh editing a new magazine, the
The two letters are unrelated. The first, a business letter, is addressed to an unidentified "Mr. Towne"; Cather turns down an apparent offer on his part to publish one of her works. The second letter, written much later, is a personal letter to Brother Emil Mohr, CSC, where Cather expresses her disenchantment with the current state of the world as well as her love of Latin. Entries for both letters can be found in
The collection consists of one series; materials are arranged chronologically, one item per folder.
Nearly 80 institutions hold Cather letters. The most important collections are those at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard University, the Willa Cather Foundation located in Red Cloud, Nebraska, the Nebraska State Historical Society, the University of Vermont, the Morgan Library, and Yale University. The most important book of published letters is:
- Series 1: Letters
Folder 1 (MSN/MN 3001-1)Letter. Willa Cather, n.p., to "Dear Mr. Towne," n.p.,  November 17. ALS on personal letterhead; 2 pages on one folded sheet.
Cather expresses her appreciation of Towne's telegram, but cannot comply with his request. The addressee, Mr. Towne, may have been the poet, author, and editor, Charles Hanson Towne (1877-1949), who worked at various times for
Cosmopolitan, Smart Set, McClure's, and Harper's Bazaar. Mr. Towne may have been interested in serializing A Lost Lady, which was later published by Knopf.
Folder 2 (MSN/MN 3001-2)Letter. Willa Cather, New York, New York to Brother Emil Mohr, CSC, Albany, New York, 1937 May 7. TLS, 1 page on one sheet, with envelope.
Cather congratulates Brother Emil Mohr on his vocation and his teaching profession. She hopes that he can teach his students that the world can be a better place, and she envies the opportunity he has to teach Latin. Brother Emil Mohr was a Holy Cross Brother who received a Master's degree from the University of Notre Dame and taught at the Vincentian Institute in Albany (New York). This letter reflects Cather's disillusion with the materialistic society that developed after the catastrophe of the Great War. It also reflects a disposition toward Catholicism so prominent in her later novels.