ELLA WHEELER WILCOX Very rare handwritten autobiographical letter by the poet which mentions her accomplishments as a writer as well as her cheerful temperament and love of dancing Autograph Letter Signed:

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ELLA WHEELER WILCOX Very rare handwritten autobiographical letter by the poet which mentions her accomplishments as a writer as well as her cheerful temperament and love of dancing Autograph Letter Signed: "Ella Wheeler/Milwaukee/Wis", 12 pages, 5x8, numbered at top 2-13 (first page missing). Milwaukee, Wisconsin, no date. Unknown recipient. In part: "I began to write as early as eight years of age…My first articles appeared in the 'Ladies Promenade' departments of the N.Y. Mercury. At this time I…made the acquaintance of the a country Editor, and was wholly ignorant of the way of the literary world. But my articles were well received, and I next tried the Waverly and Leslies periodicals. Before three years I was a paid contributor to the latter and to Harpers Bazar (sic) & weekly. I attended school at Madison University about this for a short time, but was so interested in my literary plans, and aspirations that I could not apply myself to text books. I returned home and soon after accepted a position as associate-Editor at a Milwaukee magazine which lived only a few months. I was at this time receiving letters from people of eminence, both in my own country and from abroad. Letters which filled me with new life and ambition and encouraged me with the thought that already my work was winning recognition. I wrote stories as well as poems - and each year increased the income I derived from my pen. I was called upon very early in my career to give a poem of greeting for to the Grand Army of the Tennessee - which met at Madison. It was read before several thousand people, was received with great enthusiasm, and I was presented with the gold badge of the order. Since then, I have written ten poems for State and fraternal gatherings. Very early in my career, the National Temperance Pub-house of N.Y. issued a volume of temperance poems - which were among my earliest efforts entitled 'Drops of water'. They were re-published shortly afterward in London England…'Poems of Passion' by Belford and Clarke of Chicago which has met with remarkable success - two thousand copies being sold the first three weeks - and the sale continuing to the present time to rival any other book of poems ever published in the west. A reception was given me the week of its publication by the leading citizens of Milwaukee and the first copy was purchased for the public Library and a purse of $500 presented to me with accompanying ceremonies 'as a tribute of appreciation for the many occasions I had represented the voice of the State in public matters'. Many distinguished people took part in the ceremonies, and rendered it a most unusual and unique affair, and a high compliment to me. I now contribute to several of Harpers and Leslies periodicals, The Independent…'Cheer Demerest' Peterson, U.S. Monthly, St. Nicholas, besides many leading Newspapers and am one of the contributors of stories to 'Swinton's Story Teller'. There is greater demand for my work both in prose and verse than I can supply. I was chosen by the ladies of Chicago recently to give the poem of greeting to the Womens National Congress which convened in that City. If you choose to speak of me aside from my work, you can say I pass a portion of the Summer usually at my home in the Country - my winters in Milwaukee, Chicago and other cities, where homes are ever ready to receive me as a guest. That I am extremely fond of society, as a relaxation from my mental labors and that I am said to dance as easily as I write. That my temperament is a very cheerful one - and that I love humanity and believe in it - and am faithful in my friendships and am blessed with a large list of true and loving friends where ever I go. I hope you will only use what ideas you think best from this mater I have given you. Please write it up in the second person - not quoting from me at all. Speak of me as if you knew all this - not quoting my own language…Would you like a late picture of me? I am very much better looking! If so, you can send to Ridgeway and Stevens Portage City Wis -- & obtain it for a small consideration. I am glad you remember me so kindly. You might state what I believe to be true - that I am one of the few writers who began to be appreciated & paid from the very beginning of my career…I often puzzle over in grateful speeches and can explain only by thinking that the love I know I give in lavishness to all the world - has now back its return from other hearts. Certain it is, that my life has been crowned, blessed, warmed and cheered by more true friendship and lives than often falls to mortal lot. This you can quote if you desire. I would like to see the article you write before you send it." Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) was an American author and poet. Her best-known work was Poems of Passion. Her most enduring work was "Solitude", which contains the lines, "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone". She wrote more than 20 volumes of verse including Poems of Pleasure (1888), Poems of Sentiment (1906), Pastels (1909), Gems (1912) and Cameos (1914). She also wrote a daily poem for a newspaper syndicate, fiction, essays and works on spiritualism. Thin paper, folds. Two-thirds separation at lower fold of page "2". Otherwise, fine condition.

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