CATHER, Willa (1873-1947). Death Comes for the Archbishop. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1927.
8o. (Some dampstaining.) Original green cloth, gray paper label on front cover and spine, top edge stained yellow (some dampstaining, some light wear at spine ends). Provenance: Edith Lewis, Cather's longtime companion (presentation inscription).
EDITH LEWIS' COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED BY CATHER on the front free endpaper: "For Edith Lewis, who discovered the archbishop with me. Willa Cather." A HIGHLY IMPORTANT ASSOCIATION COPY. Having met in 1903 when Edith was visiting family in Lincoln, the two women formed a close friendship and lived together in New York from 1908 until Willa's death in 1947. During those years Edith was very much devoted to Willa, often travelling with her and protecting her privacy. Edith even accompanied Willa on a journey of the Southwest before she finished Death Comes for the Archbishop. When Lewis died in 1972, she was buried at the foot of Cather's grave. Perhaps as further evidence of Edith's devotion, attached to the half-title page of this copy is a photograph of Cather.
[Laid-in:] Autograph letter signed from Bishop George Beecher, Evergreen, Colorado, 11 July 1931, writing Cather to let her know how much he and his wife miss her and are proud of her. Beecher was the Bishop of Nebraska who confirmed Cather's parents when they joined the Episcopal Church. Much admired by Willa, she and the Bishop corresponded throughout her life.