Typed Letters, signed.
Adelaide, Australia; Westport, CT: 1948, 1952. Two typed letters, (3)ff., (2)ff., signed by Helen Keller, plus (1)ff. autograph note, signed, from Keller's assistant and companion, Polly Thompson., and a typed transcript of that note. As a world-famous speaker, author, and advocate for persons with disabilities, Keller traveled to more than forty different countries in her lifetime. These letters relate to a trip that she and Thompson took to Australia in 1948, as part of an international tour. The first letter, dated July 10, 1948, was written on stationery from the South Australian Hotel in Adelaide, and is addressed to Ewen Waterman, one of Keller's hosts during her stay in the city. Keller expresses gratitude to Waterman for the "unexpected, dazzling" birthday party that he hosted for her, "so full of warm Australian hospitality and delight!" She writes, "Really I felt like Cinderella riding to the King's palace in a coach and six. Not only did you honor my natal day, you graced it with the company of Adelaide's Lord Mayor and the Councillors." In closing, Keller thanks Waterman for his advocacy for the deaf, writing, "I beg of you to keep persevering until the public accepts them as free, normal citizens, and until they themselves feel the Divine Impulse that shall lift them above all affliction and show them even on earth the Peace that passeth understanding." The second letter is addressed to Waterman four years later, on December 14, 1952, from Keller's home in Westport, Connecticut. She recalls a pleasant visit that they had a few months prior, as well as their time together in Australia, and also writes in thanks for a gift of sweaters that he sent for both her and Thompson, saying, "Every time my sweater and I bid defiance to King Frost, I shall feel not only cosy and pretty but also happy in your kind thoughts enfolding me." Thompson's letter, on a sheet of Keller's personal notepaper, also thanks Waterman for his gift, but adds, "We have been deep in the throes of film taking -- the Documentary Film of Helen's life -- it is almost completed so far as the picture taking is concerned." The resulting film, Helen Keller in Her Story, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1955. Transcript of Thompson's letter has a few small marginal holes, paper clip mark to the back of one page of Keller's 1952 letter, else very fine. Item #24182