HELEN KELLER - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 02/22/1944 - HFSID 44093
HELEN KELLER A birthday gift to her friend actress Katharine Cornell, "The amethyst symbolizes to me the highest form of love...its purple the quiet splendor in which it is enshrined". TLS: "Helen Keller" in pencil on verso, 1¼p, 7¼x10½. Arcan Ridge, Westport, Conn., 1944 February 22.
Sale Price $3,102.50
A birthday gift to her friend actress Katharine Cornell, "The amethyst symbolizes to me the highest form of love...its purple the quiet splendor in which it is enshrined".
TLS: "Helen Keller" in pencil on verso, 1¼p, 7¼x10½. Arcan Ridge, Westport, Conn., 1944 February 22. To actress Katharine Cornell. Begins: "Katharine dear". In full: "The joy of spending your birthday in your presence and peace-bringing home seems more a dream than a reality, so perfect is it in poetic felicity and charm. Nothing could have comforted Polly and me more after our grim experience in the Valley of the Shadow than your sweet thoughtfulness, the warming supper before the bright fire and the long sleep in that fairy bedroom surrounded by the fragrant flowers of Guthrie's giving! The love and untold wishes attending upon your happiness and the work that mirrors your royal spirit you already have, but a belated gift is starting on its way. Its weight is sincerity from the heart of the Rocky Mountains whence it was mined. Precious stones mean far more to me in the rough than any jewel, and I can understand the commandment of old not to build altars unto God with hewn stones. The amethyst symbolizes to me the highest form of love -- disinterested ministering good-will, -- and its purple the quiet splendor in which it is enshrined. That is why Polly and I have chosen this amethyst, not only as your birth-stone but also as an image of the noble nature that endears you to all of us who know you." Helen Keller writes from her home Arcan Ridge to actress KATHARINE CORNELL. Cornell had befriended Keller in the late 1930s and had included her and her companion, Polly Thomson in her New York circle of artistic friends which included dancer, Martha Graham and sculptor, Jo Davidson. At the time of this letter, Keller was working to encourage soldiers who had been blinded in WWII, often traveling to military hospitals. On May 7, 1954, ten years after this letter was written, Keller's biography, The Unconquered, premiered in Birmingham, Alabama. The film, later renamed Helen Keller in Her Story, narrated by Katharine Cornell, won a 1955 Oscar for best feature-length documentary. Keller (1880-1968) had been left blind, deaf and mute at the age of 19 months by illness. In 1887, Anne Sullivan taught her how to read, write and speak. "Teacher" died in 1936. MARY AGNES "POLLY" THOMSON, a Scotswoman, served Keller as her nurse-companion from 1914 to 1960. Lightly stained in blank margins. Fine condition.
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