Our Neighbor Mark Twain

The years the famous writer spent in their town were magic to a young boy and his sister.

A year after our arrival in Redding, Connecticut, Mark Twain came there to live. Everybody in town had watched the building of his great house on a wide, more or less level plain, which, on our side of it, rose above a cliff that ran along Knob Crook Brook and its lovely glen. His land had been the sheep pasture of my Great-greatgrandfather Banks and was approached by an ancient stone bridge over the brook and below a steep road that no horse cared to climb.Read more »

Helen Keller—Movie Star

Most Americans are unaware of the surprising bypaths and intense digressions in the life of Helen Keller. We feel we know her story—the desperate and finally triumphant little girl of The Miracle Worker , the gracious, handsome public figure she became. But in Joseph P. Lash’s new biography, Helen and Teacher , she is revealed as both more various and more fascinating than we knew. The following excerpt tells the story of one of Helens most unlikely ventures.Read more »

A Conquest Of Solitude

Before, during, and after the work that made him famous—his invention of the telephone—Alexander Graham Bell was deeply involved in teaching the deaf. It was his first work, and when he was seventy, he wrote that “recognition of my work for and interest in the education of the deaf has always been more pleasing to me than even recognition of my work with the telephone.” The impetus for this interest was extremely intimate: both his mother and his wife were deaf.


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