TLS : Typed Letter SignedHelen Keller. Famous political activist and advocate for persons with disabilities. Typed Letter Signed. 2-pages. 7-1/4" x 10-1/2". This letter is dated 11/20/1939, which puts it less than 3 months after World War II began. Written only shortly after Keller moved to "Arcan Ridge," her sprawling residence in Westport, Connecticut, she has typed the name of her new home at the head of her letter in place of letterhead. She would go on to live there for more than 30 years with her many dogs and personal assistant, Polly Thompson. This letter, discussing Keller's love for her new home (particularly its warm and inviting study), her affectionate relationship with her dog Kenzan-go, and the busy circuit of speaking engagements on her calendar, is written to a Miss Olson, and signed in pencil, "Helen Keller."
Helen Keller was an American author, political activist & lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play & film "The Miracle Worker". A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled & outspoken in her convictions. She campaigned for women's suffrage, labor rights, and other causes. In this letter, Keller discusses a recent round of meetings she has had to make in "St. Louis, Arkansas and Illinois" including "visits to schools, receptions and interviews." However, her busy schedule is counterbalanced by her love for the refuge of her new home, which she named Arcan Ridge. In this letter, Keller describes with warmth her "darling little house" and with her characteristic authorial flourish, she tells her correspondent, "It is like a dear personality radiating grace, comfort and simplicity." Her new home also encouraged her literary endeavors, as she describes "The big study with spacious shelves and sun-flooded windows makes me feel as if I had struck a gold min, it is such a joy to work in, away from social interruptions that kill thought." Finally, Keller describes with warmth her two closest companions at this point in her life, her assistant Polly, and her dog Kenzan-go. She worries over Polly's poor health, and encloses [not included] a "tribute to the dog." Keller writes a touching tribute within this letter, "O the beauty of his noble form and the quietness of his protecting love as he lays his head on my knee!...he and the sun rival each other as he lies in its warmth...caresses to the little dog-stars Jack and Jill." Keller proved to the world that deaf people could all learn to communicate and that they could survive in the hearing world, and flourish.