August Reminder! The Willa Cather Short Story Project #7: SCANDAL


Kitty Ayrshire is back! She was also a main character in last month’s story, “A Gold Slipper.”

I pulled up “Scandal” on the Willa Cather Archive and noticed that Kitty’s name was originally Connie when the story was published in the The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine in August 1919. How special that we’re reading this story exactly 100 years to the month after its debut.

Isn’t it interesting to think that one hundred years ago a magazine included the word “illustrated” in its title as a selling point? Now we can’t image a magazine without illustrations, graphics, or photos.

The history of 19th-century magazines and illustration is pretty fascinating. A quick Google search will lead you down a rabbit hole. Many periodicals have been scanned so you can see and read the originals. The image at the top of this post is a screenshot of the scanned version of “Scandal” that you can view here. (There certainly are magazines today that still use the word illustrated. Sports Illustrated, for one. Again, rabbit hole.)

By the end of the nineteenth century, it was becoming common for newspapers and magazines to use photography. From what I read online, The Century was a bit of a stubborn hold-out for the artistry of illustration.

One of three full-page illustrations of story scenes by Rudolph Tandler that appeared in the magazine publication.

What kind of scandal do you anticipate in this story? Sex? Sabotage? Money? Something more subtle? I can’t wait to find out.

Read by August 28th

I’ll have a response post up for this short story on the last Wednesday of the month, so read “Scandal” between now and then, and come back on August 28th to discuss this short story. Or, if you can’t wait, feel free to comment below. Please begin your commented with a spoiler warning if necessary. This story might be 100 years old, but its always new to first time readers.



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