The Story of My Life – Helen Keller’s Autobiography up to age 21

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Text from The Story of My Life – Helen Keller’s Autobiography

The Story of My Life – Helen Keller




It is with a kind of fear that I begin to write the history of my life.I have, as it were, a superstitious hesitation in lifting the veil thatclings about my childhood like a golden mist.

The task of writing anautobiography is a diffcult one. When I try to classify my earliestimpressions, I fnd that fact and fancy look alike across the years thatlink the past with the present.

The woman paints the child’s experiencesin her own fantasy. A few impressions stand out vividly from the frstyears of my life; but “the shadows of the prison-house are on the rest.

“Besides, many of the joys and sorrows of childhood have lost theirpoignancy; and many incidents of vital importance in my early educationhave been forgotten in the excitement of great discoveries.

In order,therefore, not to be tedious I shall try to present in a series ofsketches only the episodes that seem to me to be the most interestingand important.I was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, a little town of northernAlabama.

The family on my father’s side is descended from Caspar Keller, a nativeof Switzerland, who settled in Maryland. One of my Swiss ancestors wasthe frst teacher of the deaf in Zurich and wrote a book on the subjectof their education–rather a singular coincidence; though it is truethat there is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, andno slave who has not had a king among his.

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<end of excerpt – Helen Keller’s Autobiography>


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