Katharine White

A Wonderful Pair of Authors

After researching Katharine White, I discovered some touching correspondence that occurred between her husband, Andy, (the author of Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web), and her friend and fellow garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence.

In July 1979, Elizabeth wrote to Andy about Katharine's book (after Katharine died):

Dear Andy,
Thank you for having the publisher send me Onward and Upward (it really is). I have been re-reading and re-reading ever since, with great pleasure and great sorrow. I can’t bear not [being] able to tell Katharine what a wonderful book [she wrote]…
[I am writing] to ask for permission to quote a paragraph from a letter you wrote to me [a while ago. You wrote:]
“Katharine just spent three days in bed, in pain, caused by aback injury brought on by leaning far out over a flower bed to pick one spring bloom— the daffodil Supreme. It seems a heavy price to pay for one small flower. But when she is in her garden, she is always out of control. I do not look for any change, despite her promises."
I am not sure about your [species], whether it is the daffodil supreme, or the daffodil Supreme, Rijnveld, 1947, 3a. But I don’t think it likely that any Observer will know the difference. I thought the paragraph fits in with your loving introduction [to Onward and Upward in the Garden].
[. ..] I am having a miserable time trying to say something worthy of the book in the space allotted to me.
Aff, Elizabeth

On March 24, 1980, Andy concluded a letter back to Elizabeth with these words:

Tired snow still lies about, here and there, in the brownfields, and my house will never look the same again since the death of the big elm that overhung it. Nevertheless, I manfully planted (as a replacement) a young elm. It is all of five-and-a-half feet high. 
By Katharine’s grave, I planted an oak. This is its second winter in the cemetery, her third.
Yrs, 
Andy
 

Five years later, Andy died at home in Maine. He is buried next to Katharine in the Brooklin Cemetery.
 


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Katharine White
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