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    Hellen Keller presentation copy of her Journal, inscribed to bibliophile A. Edward Newton

    Helen Keller Signed Presentation Copy: Helen Keller's Journal 1936-1937. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company. 1938. First edition. 8vo (6" x 8"). 313 pages. With dust jacket.
    Inscribed on the front free end paper: "To Dr. A. Edward Newton / Whose name is tender- / ly associated with / teacher [Anne Sullivan Macy] in the honor / that brought her / true pleasure. / Cordially / Helen Keller / March 11th 1938." A poignant inscription, being that the book details Keller's daily challenges to continue her work in the months immediately following the death of Anne Sullivan Macy, her teacher and companion.

    In October 1930, Temple University attempted to present both Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy with honorary degrees. Although Helen Keller graciously accepted the award, Dr. A. Edward Newton, who served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Temple, was unsuccessful in convincing Anne Sullivan to accept as well. In a letter dated December 23, 1930, Newton wrote to Sullivan: "Dr. Beury has sent me a copy of your letter to him of December 17th, in which you graciously but firmly decline the honorary degree which Temple University considers giving you. I think I violate no confidence when I say that I made this suggestion, which was favorably received and acted upon by the Trustees. Permit me to give my reasons for hoping that you will reconsider your decision... I regard Helen Keller as one of the most remarkable personalities now living, and I have always thought that you have done with her was little, if any, less remarkable that what she was able to do for herself..."
    Newton's presentation speech at the award ceremony in 1931 began in praise for Keller and morphed into an impromptu address about Sullivan. Governor Pinchot (of Pennsylvania), who was also present as an award recipient, picked up where Newton left off and demanded that the audience vote to give Sullivan an honorary degree. The audience was near unanimous in its praise. Sullivan, who had secretly attended the ceremony, was the only person to abstain from voting. The following year, Sullivan would finally acquiesce to accept the honor.
    Red cloth binding with gilt title on the spine and the initials "HK" gilt stamped on the top board. Dust jacket is fragile, with some chipping and small tears. Interior pages are clean with even toning. End papers have some foxing, but pencil inscription remains crisp.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    8th-9th Tuesday-Wednesday
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