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HELEN KELLER - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 11/14/1960 - HFSID 46460

HELEN KELLER The year Polly Thomson, her nurse-companion died, Keller thanks actress Katharine Cornell for a pleasant visit and the gift of a pet. TLS: "Helen Keller" 1p, 7¼x10½. Arcan Ridge, Westport, Connecticut, 1960 November 14.

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HELEN KELLER
The year Polly Thomson, her nurse-companion died, Keller thanks actress Katharine Cornell for a pleasant visit and the gift of a pet.
TLS: "Helen Keller" 1p, 7¼x10½. Arcan Ridge, Westport, Connecticut, 1960 November 14. On imprinted letterhead to Miss Katharine Cornell, 'Peter Rock', Palisades, New York. Begins: "Dearest of Katharines". In full: "Before I go to my Southern home Tuesday, I hug you in thought and say how happy I was to see you and Nancy last Thursday! It did me good to realize that you are taking a real rest. It was also a delight to tell you of the joy I had in your marvelous gift - and you are always enriching my life! As Bounce grows older, she will prove a blessing indeed, and every time I pet her I shall have a new sense of your dearness and the resources of love and gladness that bless me. How Polly would have adored Bounce! What an exceptionally bright November we are having here! It seems as if October was still pouring its beauty upon us. Hoping to see you soon after I return in February, and with overflowing affection for you, Guthrie and Nancy, I am Affectionately your friend". Actress KATHARINE CORNELL had befriended Keller in the late 1930s and had included her and her companion, MARY AGNES "POLLY" THOMSON in her New York circle of artistic friends, which included dancer Martha Graham, sculptor Jo Davidson and actress NANCY HAMILTON, who appeared in four Broadway plays in the 1930s and wrote the lyrics and sketches for the musicals One For the Money (1939), Two For the Show (1940) and Three to Make Ready (1946). On May 7, 1954, Keller's biography, The Unconquered, premiered in Birmingham, Alabama. The film, narrated by Cornell and later renamed Helen Keller in Her Story, won a 1955 Oscar for best feature-length documentary. Inspirational lecturer and author HELEN KELLER (1880-1968) had entered her dark, silent world as a result of illness while still a toddler. When she was about six years old, her parents sought help from Alexander Graham Bell, who had demonstrated his father's Visible Speech system at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes in 1871. Bell was instrumental in having instructor Anne Mansfield Sullivan (1866-1936) sent to teach Helen how to read, write and speak. With Sullivan's help, Helen learned the manual alphabet and graduated cum laude from Radcliffe in 1904. Devoting the rest of her life to the blind and deaf, Keller lectured and campaigned for improved services for the handicapped. In 1932, she and Sullivan helped make English Braille the standard. Keller, who wrote several books, including the inspirational The Story of My Life (1903), was awarded membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Keller's life was later the basis for William Gibson's Tony Award-winning Broadway play (1959-1961) and the Academy Award-winning feature film (1962), The Miracle Worker. Thomson, a Scotswoman, was Keller's secretary and then nurse-companion from 1914 until her death earlier in 1960. Guthrie was Cornell's husband, director and stage producer GUTHRIE McCLINTIC, to whom she was married from 1921 until his death in 1961, the year after this letter was written. Folds, not at signature. Fine condition.

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