The Sentimentality of William Tavener

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The Sentimentality of William Tavener is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in Library in May 1900.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

William and Hester, live in McPherson County. One day, Hester manages to talk her husband into letting their children go to the circus after he remembers going to one; they realize they were both there but only found out just now, supposedly. This leads them to reminisce about their past in Virginia, which they haven't done for years, they were too concerned with budgeting their money and getting their work done using their children. William then goes to bed and when the children come home she gives them the money that he gave her for them to go to the circus and tells them to be careful on their way and not to wake their father going to bed.


  • William Tavener
  • Hester Perkins, William's wife.
  • The Howley boys
  • Billy, one of William and Hester's children.
  • Ellen Scribner
  • Tap, Tom Smith's son, whom William hired to weed the corn so he could go to the circus as a child.


  1. ^ Willa Cather's Collected Short Fiction, University of Nebraska Press; Rev Ed edition, 1 Nov 1970, page 586

External links[edit]