The Story of My Life, a remarkable account of overcoming the debilitating challenges
of being both deaf and blind, has made Helen Kellen one of the most inspirational figures in history. From tales of her early difficult days, to details of her relationship with her beloved teacher Anne Sullivan, to her impressions of academic life, Keller's straightforward writing offers insight into an amazing mind. The Story of My Life has become an enduring classic of American literature. It was always to be the most popular of Helen Keller's works, with numerous editions published throughout the years. Today, the book is available in more than 50 languages, including most European languages.
About the Author:
Helen Adams Keller born in 1880, was an American author, activist and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind graduate of Radcliffe College. Later, she became a high-profile socialist, and throughout her life she was a strong advocate for the blind and deaf communities, visiting over thirty-five countries and publishing fourteen books about her experiences, which have been translated into more than fifty languages. She died in 1968.
Part Ⅰ: the story of my life
Part Ⅱ: letters (1887-1901)
PART lie A SUPPLEMENTARY ACCOUNT OF HELEN KELLER'S LIFE AND EDUCATION
Ⅰ. The Writing of the Book
Ⅴ. Literary Style
This book is in three parts. The first two, Miss Keller's storyand the extracts from her letters, form a complete account of herlife as far as she can give it. Much of her education she cannotexplain herself, and since a knowledge of that is necessary to anunderstanding of what she has written, it was thought best tosupplement her autobiography with the reports and letters of herteacher, Miss Anne Mansfield Sullivan. The addition of a furtheraccount of Miss Keller's personality and achievements may beunnecessary; yet it will help to make clear some of the traits of hercharacter and the nature of the work which she and her teacherhave done.
For the third part of the book the Editor is responsible, though all that is valid in it he owes to authentic records and to theadvice of Miss Sullivan.
The Editor desires to express his gratitude and the gratitudeof Miss Keller and Miss Sullivan to The Ladies' Home Journal andto its editors, Mr. Edward Bok and Mr. William V. Alexander, whohave been unfailingly kind and have given for use in this book allthe photographs which were taken expressly for the Journal; andthe Editor thanks Miss Keller's many friends who have lent him her letters to them and given him valuable information; especially Mrs. Laurence Hutton, who supplied him with her large collection of notes and'anecdotes; Mr. John Hitz, Superintendent of the Volta Bureau for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge relating to the Deaf; and Mrs. Sophia C. Hopkins, to whom Miss Sullivan.
It is with a kind of fear that I begin to write the history ofmy life. I have, as it were, a superstitious hesitation in lifting theveil that clings about my childhood like a golden mist. The task ofwriting an autobiography is a difficult one. When I try to classifymy earliest impressions, I find that fact and fancy look alike acrossthe years that link the past with the present. The woman paintsthe child's experiences in her own fantasy A few impressions standout vividly from the first years of my life; but "the shadows ofthe prison-house are on the rest." Besides, many of the joys andsorrows of childhood have lost their poignancy; and many incidentsof vital importance in my early education have been forgotten inthe excitement of great discoveries. In order, therefore, not tobe tedious I shall try to present in a series of sketches only theepisodes that seem to me to be the most interesting and important.
I was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, a little town ofnorthern Alabama.
The family on my father's side is descended from CasparKeller, a native of Switzerland, who settled in Maryland. One ofmy Swiss ancestors was the first teacher of the deaf in Zurich andwrote a book on the subject of their education——rather a singularcoincidence; though it is true that there is no king who has not hada slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a kingamong his.
My grandfather, Caspar Keller's son, "entered" large tractsof land in Alabama and finally settled there. I have been told thatonce a year he went from Tuscumbia to Philadelphia on horseback to purchase supplies for the plantation, and my aunt has in her.
Author Helen Kelle
Press Central Compilation & Translation Press
Publication Date October 2008
Page material gelatine plate paper
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