I have an article on Cather and medicine coming out in the next issue of
Cather Studies. If you'd like to send an email to [log in to unmask],
I'd be glad to forward a copy.
Otherwise, you might find the biographical sketch of Dr. Gilbert McKeeby
useful in the following pamphlet:
Howard, W. A. Biographical Sketches of the Nebraska Legislature and
State Officers of Nebraska. Lincoln: Jacob North & Co., 1895.
Dr. John Macaulay is worth checking out; Cather and Lewis befriended
Ingersoll, L. K. "M. D. for the Islands: The Life and Times of Dr. John
(1876-1939)." The Grand Manan Historian XXV (1993): 1-47.
These articles have also been useful:
Bender, Eileen T. "Pioneer or Gadgeteer: Bergsonian Metaphor in the Work
Cather." Midwest Quarterly Autumn 1986: 130-40.
Ryder, Mary R. "Ars Scientiae: Willa Cather and the Mission of Science."
Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation Newsletter and Review XLV.1
Sumner, Allene. "Prize Novelist Finds Writing and Eating Kin." Willa
Cather In Person:
Interviews, Speeches, and Letters. Ed. L. Brent Bohlke. Lincoln: U of
Nebraska P, 1986. 86-88.
Assistant Professor of English
Pella, IA 50219
From: 5 Bank Street: The Listserv for Willa Cather Scholars
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of jgabriel
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 11:35 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [5BANKSTREET] Cather's Medical Records
Becky et al,
Thank you so much for this information - I was obviously not involved in
Cather studies in 1998 and who knows how long it might have taken me to
begin looking into past colloquiums!
Also, thanks to Melissa for the reference to O'Brien's article - I am
aware of it, as well as Trowse's article on Cather's portrayal of the
medical profession in her novels (Willa Cather's Condition). I've not
discovered other articles that deal specifically with illness and/or the
medical profession in Cather - if any of you have leads in that
direction, please do tell! A large part of my dissertation involves
trying to answer questions previously raised (in both O'Brien and
Trowse) regarding Cather's relationship to illness and the medical
As Becky mentions, I have contacted Jo Ann Middleton (through Merrill)
regarding the possibility of getting hold of the records. Her response,
as noted in my first email, is that they remain privileged. However,
she also suggested I try to find someone who has managed to "spring"
medical records for another author who may have had interested family
still involved. I know many of you do very good work with other authors
and figured it was worth a shot to put the question out there.
With many thanks,
> Hi Gabriel,
> You mention Jo Ann Middleton in your original query, so you obviously
> know that she is someone who has researched Cather's medical records.
> I've been away from Cather studies for several years, so I don't know
> what she's written about the topic.
> However, I do have notes from the 1998 New York Colloquium about her
> plenary session titled "Cather and Modern Medicine." Middleton went
> through a list of Cather's illnesses, including the years:
> 1895 Typhoid pneumonia
> 1898 "the grippe" (6 weeks)
> 1921-1923 appendicitis? Colitis, diverticulitis
> 1932 gall bladder (at first refused surgery, then in summer had her
> gall bladder removed
> 1934 sprained wrist, inflammation
> 1938 smashed hand
> 1941 right wrist swollen
> Under the heading of "continuing medical mysteries":
> 1912 Hospitalized for several weeks
> 1914 Blood poisoning from hat pin
> 1928 Mayo Clinic "a bothering hurt"--thyroid disease?
> (Middleton's speculation at that time)
> The Colloquium was many years ago, but I seem to remember Middleton
> discussing her attempts to see Cather's records at the Mayo Clinic. To
> my mind, she would be the one I would contact about Cather's medical
> Happy research!
> Becky Roorda