Helen Keller and her lost love.

I just found out there’s a new book out in April called Helen Keller in Love, by Rosie Sultan, based on Helen’s brief engagement to her secretary. Here are two sites that mention that – and lots of other interesting things about Keller:

Beyond Eugenics – Helen Keller – Obit Magazine.

http://www.nytimes.com/specials/magazine4/articles/keller1.html

Helen Keller was, as you know, amazing woman who graduated from Radcliffe, wrote books, and was into social activism but forced to live without sight or hearing because of a childhood illness. SHE FELL IN LOVE! Well, of course, she was a human being and human beings do that. Why am I surprised? But, more than feeling surprise, I’m dismayed. I’m terribly disappointed that anyone would deny their family or friend the fundamental need (actually, the satisfaction of that need) for love and companionship. It stinks, and I don’t care what the times were like or what people thought of the disabled.

Really, this is another time when I feel like getting in a time machine and setting past wrongs right.

In 1916 and Helen and her love planned to get married. Her mother forced an end to the relationship because of Helen’s disabilities. (Never mind, of course, how much more living this ‘disabled’ woman did than most people do in a lifetime.) I just want to give a tongue-lashing to everyone involved.

Apparently, Helen once said that if she were able to see, the first thing she’d do was marry. Could words be sadder than that? Anyone else find this kind of thing retroactively frustrating?

Hopefully, we’re all a lot smarter now than Helen’s friends and family were then. I hope I never have the dimwitted idea to do that kind of thing.

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