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52 Cards in this Set

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Willa Cather was born in Back Creek, Virginia on December 7th, 1873
When she was 9 the family moved to Red Cloud, NE
She attended the University of Nebraska, where she often dressed as William Cather, her opposite sex "twin"
She worked on the editorial staff at McClure's Magazine in NYC for six years
Cather won the Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for One of Ours
Having achieved notable popularity at
the peak of her career in the 1920s, she was viewed by many in
the 1930s as an old-fashioned writer who ignored the pressing
social issues of her time and relapsed into a more congenial
After graduating in 1895, Cather moved to Pittsburgh, the setting of Paul's Case.
In Pittsburgh, Cather worked as a journalist, a high school teacher for a year and, in 1905, published a collection of short stories called"The Troll Garden."
Paul's Case was based on a real Pittsburgh high school student's suicide
Afterwards she moved to New York to work as an editor, and later as managing editor for "McClure's" magazine.
It was in New York that she met Sarah Orne Jewett, who told her to remove herself from journalism and "to find your own quiet center of life, and write from that to the world."
"It is the inexplicable presence of the thing not named, of the overtone divined by the ear, but not heard by it, the verbal mood, the emotional aura of the fact or the thing or the deed, that gives high quality to the novel or drama, as well to the poetry itself."
After moving to Pittsburgh Cather met and fell in love with a 16 year old girl, Cather was in her twenties.
The girl, Isabelle McClung, later married a man, but Cather and McClung kept in touch over the next 40 years. According to Quistory, Cather's heart belonged to McClung for the rest of her life, even though Cather's closest relationship was with her lifetime companion, an editor by the name of Edith Lewis. The two lived together in Greenwich Village for forty years, until their deaths. They arranged to be buried together when they died.
1874: Willow Shade
Cather and her parents join her paternal grandparents, William and Caroline, at their farmhouse, Willow Shade, between Back Creek Valley and Winchester, Virginia. The elder Cathers relocate to Nebraska in 1877.
1883: Nebraska
In April Cather's family joins her paternal grandparents on their farm in Nebraska, on a broad plateau between the Little Blue and Republican rivers known as "The Divide." The move helps to shape Cather's perspective on the American pioneer experience.
884: Red Cloud
The Cathers relocate to a small town in the midst of rough prairie. Here Cather meets Annie Sadilek, on whom she models Ántonia in My Ántonia.
1890: High School Graduation
As valedictorian of Red Cloud High School, Cather gives the commencement address "Superstition vs. Investigation," on the importance of scientific investigation throughout history.
1891: University of Nebraska
In the fall, Cather begins classes at the university and serves as literary editor of the student newspaper, The Hesperian.
1895: College Graduation
When Cather graduates from the University of Nebraska, she becomes one of the few women at that time to achieve a college education.
A trip to Chicago to see the Metropolitan Opera Company on tour marks the beginning of Cather's lifelong passion for opera and the divas who dominate it.
1899: Isabelle McClung
While living in Pittsburgh, Cather befriends Isabelle McClung, the rebellious daughter of a wealthy, conservative judge and member of the city's social elite. Isabelle becomes Cather's reader and muse. From 1901 to 1906, Cather lives at the McClung family home.
1902: Europe
Accompanied by Isabelle McClung, Cather spends the summer in England and France, making pilgrimages to the birthplaces and graves of artists she admires.
1906: New York City
Cather arrives in New York in the summer to work at McClure's.
1908: Edith Lewis
Cather first met Edith Lewis, a fellow Nebraskan, on a visit home in 1903. Employed in publishing and advertising herself, Lewis becomes copyeditor, proofreader, and editor of Cather's work. The two will live together in New York until Cather's death in 1947.
1912: Winslow, Arizona
On a visit to brother Douglass in the Southwest, Cather "discovers herself," finding renewed creative energy. Thea Kronborg experiences a similar awakening on a visit to Arizona in The Song of the Lark.
1916: Isabelle McClung marries
Cather's confidante marries violinist Jan Hambourg and eventually moves to France. Through letters she and Cather remain close, but their period of collaboration ends.
1920: Europe with Edith Lewis
Cather tours the battlefields and countryside of Europe with Edith Lewis, stopping to visit her cousin G.P. Cather's grave.
1921: Episcopalianism
Cather and her parents join the Episcopal Church, in which she will be an active member for the rest of her life.
1928: Cather's father dies
In March, Cather's father dies of a heart attack. Her brother Douglass takes their mother to Southern California, where she suffers a stroke.
1931: Cather's mother dies
While Cather is at her cottage on Grand Manan Island, off the coast of Maine, her mother succumbs to complications from her stroke. Cather had regularly visited her mother at the California sanatorium where she lay helpless and speechless for two years.
1935: Isabelle ill
In March, Isabelle McClung Hambourg returns to the United States to consult American doctors for a kidney disease that proves incurable. Cather spends the year attending to her.
1938: Douglass dies
Devastated by her brother's death from a heart attack, Cather does not attend the funeral.
Isabelle McClung Hambourg dies
Cather's friend and muse succumbs to kidney disease in Sorento, Italy.
1945: Roscoe dies
Cather and her brother had always kept in close contact, and his death severs her last close link to the past.
1947: Death
On April 24, at the age of 73, Cather dies of a massive cerebral hemorrhage. She is buried in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, on a hillside spot that she had selected. With Alfred A. Knopf, Edith Lewis acts as her literary executor.
1891: Cather in print
Submitted by her teacher without her knowledge, Cather's essay on English essayist Thomas Carlyle appears in the Nebraska State Journal.
1892: First short story
Cather publishes her short story "Peter" in The Mahogany Tree; it later becomes part of My Ántonia.
1893: Nebraska State Journal
Cather becomes a regular contributor to the Nebraska State Journal newspaper, reviewing plays and writing the Sunday arts column "The Passing Show."
1896: The Home Monthly
In June, Cather moves to Pittsburgh to edit the Home Monthly, using a half dozen pen names. A review on November 24 is finally signed "Willa."
1897: The Pittsburgh Leader
In July the Home Monthly is sold, and Cather returns to Red Cloud. By September, she is back in Pittsburgh, writing play and book reviews at the Pittsburgh Leader.
1900: Washington, D.C.
In the late spring, Cather resigns from the Pittsburgh Leader. Cather lives in Washington for a few months and works as a translator and a correspondent for Pittsburgh and Lincoln papers.
In March, Cather accepts a position at Pittsburgh's Central High School, hoping that a teacher's schedule will allow her more time to write. She often refers to Pittsburgh as the birthplace of her writing career.
1903: April Twilights
Although Cather considered fiction a more elevated genre than poetry, her first book is this collection of 27 poems, whose publication she financed herself.
1905: The Troll Garden
S.S. McClure, publisher of McClure's magazine, solicits and publishes Cather's first short story collection, which deals with the relationship between gender and art.
1906: McClure's magazine
S.S. McClure travels to Pittsburgh to offer Cather a job at his magazine, where she will work until 1911. She spends much of her first year with the magazine in Boston working on a profile of Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science.
1908: Sarah Orne Jewett
Jewett, a native of Maine and celebrated practitioner of "local color" writing, becomes Cather's friend and mentor, influencing her writing about her native Nebraska.
1912: Cather resigns
While on a leave of absence from McClure's, Cather officially resigns to pursue writing full time.
Alexander's Bridge
Serialized in McClure's under the title Alexander's Masquerade, Cather's first novel is then published in book form. The work is heavily influenced by Henry James.
1913: O Pioneers!
Cather displays the feminism and realism that become integral to her work in O Pioneers!, the story of an immigrant woman's struggle to save her Nebraska farm. She dedicates the novel to Sarah Orne Jewett.
My Autobiography by S.S. McClure
Cather's ghostwritten account of her former boss's life story is serialized in McClure's.
1914: Olive Fremstad
Interviewing Olive Fremstad for McClure's, Cather is impressed by the opera star's confidence and artistry, and the two become friends. Fremstad is the inspiration for Thea Kronborg in The Song of the Lark.