Boston: The Youth's Companion, . First Edition, Signed by the author on the first page over an image of an Easter lily, in pencil as usual, "Helen Keller". 4to; 2pp; dark blue wrappers printed in silver, the corners chipped, the front cover s split at the edge, the text sewn with light green yarn, covers a bit soiled, about very good. The text is on French folded coated glossy stock; printed in dark blue with images of lilies in light green, with photographic image of a young Helen Keller in blue. The author and title are printed in dark blue at the top of the page with lilies decorating the margins. The text is printed in dark blue as well, within a light green double rule on each page. This is a handsome and early publication by Keller.
Helen Keller (1880-1968), noted American lecturer and author, was blind and deaf from the age of two. At the age of seven Anne Sullivan became her teacher, and Keller's progress was remarkable. She graduated from Radcliffe in 1904 with honors and spent the rest of her life writing and lecturing raising money for the blind and other social causes. Keller first published in The Youth's Companion in 1893; she tells us in THE STORY OF MY LIFE (1902) that this brief account of her life written when she was 12 was undertaken to restore her self-confidence (after the Frost King episode). In 1903, her second book OPTIMISM appeared. In 1904, John Macy had become part of the Keller - Sullivan household. He was then an editor at The Youth's Companion and undoubtedly persuaded Helen to undertake this inspirational text. Keller had been introduced to Swedenborgian teachings by John Hitz in 1893, and her writing in this pamphlet reflect that spirit. This is an early separate appearance - her fourth (?) and is quite scarce. RLIN and OCLC searches locate only two copies- at Indiana and Columbia. 100 Most Influential Women, pp. 65-68. NAW The Modern Period, pp. 389-393. Lash, Helen and Teacher. Herrmann, Helen Keller A Life. Keller, The Story of My Life, p. 74. Item #8360