Cover image for Death comes for the archbishop
Death comes for the archbishop
Cather, Willa, 1873-1947.
Personal Author:
Modern Library edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Modern Library, 1993.
Physical Description:
xi, 345 pages ; 19 cm
The vicar apostolic -- Missionary journeys -- The mass at Ácoma -- Snake root -- Padre Martínez -- Donã Isabella -- The great diocese -- Gold under Pike's Peak -- Death comes for the archbishop.
Reading Level:
1150 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC High School 10 17 Quiz: 14018 Guided reading level: NR.
Subject Term:
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Reading List

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In 1851 Father Jean Marie Latour becomes Apostolic Vicar to New Mexico, and over the next forty years he faces the lawlessness and loneliness of the frontier as he tries to spread his faith.

Author Notes

Willa Siebert Cather was born in 1873 in the home of her maternal grandmother in western Virginia. Although she had been named Willela, her family always called her "Willa." Upon graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1895, Cather moved to Pittsburgh where she worked as a journalist and teacher while beginning her writing career.

In 1906, Cather moved to New York to become a leading magazine editor at McClure's Magazine before turning to writing full-time. She continued her education, receiving her doctorate of letters from the University of Nebraska in 1917, and honorary degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of California, Columbia, Yale, and Princeton.

Cather wrote poetry, short stories, essays, and novels, winning awards including the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, One of Ours, about a Nebraska farm boy during World War I. She also wrote The Professor's House, My Antonia, Death Comes for the Archbishop, and Lucy Gayheart. Some of Cather's novels were made into movies, the most well-known being A Lost Lady, starring Barbara Stanwyck.

In 1961, Willa Cather was the first woman ever voted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners in Oklahoma in 1974, and the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca, New York in 1988.

Cather died on April 24, 1947, of a cerebral hemorrhage, in her Madison Avenue, New York home, where she had lived for many years.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Nebraska pulls out all the stops for this superb scholarly edition of Cathers 1927 novel. This edition includes a newly restored text along with several historical essays and explanatory notes by several scholars. Academic libraries supporting hardcore American literature curricula will want this volume. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This volume contains not only an authoritative text of Cather's popular 1927 novel about two 19th-century French missionaries to the Santa Fe diocese but also 300 pages of supplementary material, including maps, photographs, and other illustrations. Although Cather herself favored the 1929 illustrated edition, the University of Nebraska consistently chooses Cather's first editions as copy texts. The "unusually large number of versions" of Death Comes for the Archbishop complicated the editorial work of Mignon, Link, and Ronning, whose excellent "Textual Apparatus" includes an essay on the printing history, variants, and emendations. Equally fine are Murphy's historical essay and his explanatory notes on details ranging from Native American culture to Catholic feast days. Murphy introduces the lengthy section of notes by observing that "Death Comes for the Archbishop is more than any other Cather narrative a product of research, the fusion of an astounding array of sources that would be disparate if not combined within its text." Produced with the same thoughtful attention Cather bestowed on the printing of her books, this attractive new edition is scarcely less astounding and highly recommended for all academic libraries. J. W. Hall; University of Mississippi