In her memoir of Cather, ESS notes that Cather’s description of wildflowers in Archbishop seems to describe the flowers “on my Tesuque hillside,” but I have not yet come across anything confirming that Cather visited the “mud house” in Tesuque.  

 Although ESS was in the Southwest for long periods of time during the 1920s and ‘30s,  she was not in residence continuously during those years; she came and went between New Mexico and Massachusetts (family commitments) and NYC (publishing contacts) and was in Europe from 1927 to 1929. I’m not sure right now whether ESS herself was at the mud house at the specific time of Cather’s 1927 trip, which I know began in July. Maybe I’ll know by this weekend!

From: 5 Bank Street: The Listserv for Willa Cather Scholars [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Timothy Bintrim
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2013 9:04 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [5BANKSTREET] Letters!


Hi Becky et al,


I too have been enjoying the letters to Elsie Sergeant because the Pittsburgh poet I am researching, Haniel Long, moved to Santa Fe to become Elsie's neighbor.  I especially enjoyed her four-part series in Harper's of 1922, "The Journal of a Mud House" (at Google Books) describing how she and a friend bought a run-down adobe at the village of Tesuque, six miles north of Santa Fe,and hired local labor to rebuild it (although neither woman knew any Spanish).  Elsie mentions in her Memoir that Cather liked her series on the project (165, 170), the proceeds of which paid for the Mud House make-over.  Does anyone know if Cather visited Sergeant's Mud House on her 1927 trip to Santa Fe?  I suspect that Cather was avoiding most members of the writers colony at Santa Fe except Elsie and Mary Austin (especially Witter Bynner), but have no details.  Janis concludes in Picturing a Different West that Cather probably knew Alice Corbin Henderson, co-editor of Poetry Magazine, who was among the first to move to Santa Fe for tuberculosis treatment.

Best, Tim
>>> Sherrill Harbison <[log in to unmask]> 6/9/2013 4:07 PM >>>
Katherine White was E.B. White's wife.  I never knew that

On 6/9/13 12:17 PM, Becky Roorda wrote:
> OK, so I'm replying to my own post--but I simply had to say how much I'm enjoying these letters. I'm savoring them, so I'm only up to early 1917, currently reading a couple of letters Cather wrote to her mother. These letters strike me as dutiful and sweet, newsy letters about things she thought would interest her mother. Cather was a good if unconventional daughter, and I don't think she ever gave herself a break about that. As a daughter of a very "eccentric" 88-year-old mother, I have some sympathy.
> My favorite review of this volume, so far, is by Jennifer Howard at The Chronicle Review, someone who actually did her homework and interviewed people who had knowledge of the project.
> What have I found interesting so far? Well, some of my favorite letters have been the ones that Cather wrote to Elizabeth ("Elsie") Singer Sergeant (c. 1915 or so, before and after). I was struck by how Cather frequently mentioned Isabelle McClung in these letters, yet she NEVER mentions Edith Lewis. Just an observation--interesting, I thought. Does anyone have any insight into that?
> ESS was a friend of Amy Lowell, and Cather was an "enemy" of Amy Lowell. I once thought it would be interesting to find the letters between ESS and Lowell and see if Cather is mentioned in any of them--but it's a project I never got around to. I also wish that someone might do a volume of letters between ESS and Cather, putting them in context, etc. Is there anyone out there working on ESS? She is the older sister of Katharine Sergeant Angell White, fiction editor for the New Yorker from about 1925 to 1960, so that fact adds an interesting dimension. Anyone interested in magazine publishing in the 1920s-1930s could have some fun with this.