The Story of My Life, Signed by Helen Keller, Dated October 11th, 1937

Keller, Helen. The Story of My Life. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1937.  Signed and inscribed later edition. Octavo, original brown cloth boards. Housed in matching quarter leather clamshell.

This is 1937 printing of Helen Keller’s autobiography, signed and inscribed, in its original brown cloth boards.  The inscription and signature read: “Cordial Greetings, Helen Keller, October 1937” on the front end page. The signature is written in pencil but is bold and legible. The book is dedicated by Keller to mentor Alexander Graham Bell. The Story of My Life is composed of letters from 1887-1901 and a supplementary account of her education written by John A. Macy. This edition was published by Grosset and Dunlap, New York, and includes black and white illustrations throughout.

First published in 1903, The Story of My Life was written and compiled by Keller as a documentation of her early life and experience with her educator, Anne Sullivan. At the age of 19 months, an unknown illness left Keller deaf and blind. Despite these odds, Keller learned to write and communicate from a young age. Anne Sullivan, who was herself blind and trained at The Perkins School for the Blind, moved to Keller’s Alabama hometown at age 20 to begin educating and training Keller. Keller’s skills were soon applauded by the general American public, with Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, and Alexander Graham Bell among her admirers.  

In her autobiography, Keller invites readers into the more private details of her life, detailing her first word ever communicated and her practice of ‘finger-spelling’ with Sullivan. "As the cool stream gushed over one hand she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly… 'w-a-t-e-r’… That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!” Keller spent a great deal of time writing, with 13 books published as well as multiple articles. She dedicated her time to social reform and later graduated from Radcliff College. The Story of My Life was written during her years at Radcliff College at age 22.

"Profoundly and permanently deaf and blind, she was to carve out a life that astonished nearly everyone… Her protean accomplishments caused Mark Twain to dub her 'the greatest woman since Joan of Arc" (ANB).


This signed copy is in its original brown cloth boards. The interior pages are healthy and free of foxing or stains. The spine has minor corner stress. It is housed in a beautiful custom-built clamshell. The clamshell features matching brown cloth and quarter Moroccan leather binding. The spine of the clamshell features the title, author, and date with gilt tooling and raised bands. A black and white photo of Keller is pasted to the front of the clamshell.

Dimensions of book: 8 1/2" H x 5 3/4" W x 1 1/2" D

Dimensions with clamshell: 9 1/2" H x 7" W x 2" D

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