Portrait of Helen Keller as a young girl, with a white dog on her lap August On her father's side she was descended from Colonel Alexander Spottswood, a colonial governor of Virginia, and on her mother's side, she was related to a number of prominent New England families. Helen's father, Arthur Keller, was a captain in the Confederate army. The family lost most of its wealth during the Civil War and lived modestly. After the war, Captain Keller edited a local newspaper, the North Alabamian, and in , under the Cleveland administration, he was appointed Marshal of North Alabama.
At the age of 19 months, Helen became deaf and blind as a result of an unknown illness, perhaps rubella or scarlet fever.
A Brief History of a Lucky Woman
As Helen grew from infancy into childhood, she became wild and unruly. As she so often remarked as an adult, her life changed on March 3, On that day, Anne Mansfield Sullivan came to Tuscumbia to be her teacher. Anne was a year-old graduate of the Perkins School for the Blind.
Compared with Helen, Anne couldn't have had a more different childhood and upbringing. The daughter of poor Irish immigrants, she entered Perkins at 14 years of age after four horrific years as a ward of the state at the Tewksbury Almshouse in Massachusetts. She was just 14 years older than her pupil Helen, and she too suffered from serious vision problems. Anne underwent many botched operations at a young age before her sight was partially restored. Anne's success with Helen remains an extraordinary and remarkable story and is best known to people because of the film The Miracle Worker.
The film correctly depicted Helen as an unruly, spoiled—but very bright—child who tyrannized the household with her temper tantrums. Anne believed that the key to reaching Helen was to teach her obedience and love. She saw the need to discipline, but not crush, the spirit of her young charge. As a result, within a week of her arrival, she had gained permission to remove Helen from the main house and live alone with her in the nearby cottage.
They remained there for two weeks. Anne began her task of teaching Helen by manually signing into the child's hand. Anne had brought a doll that the children at Perkins had made for her to take to Helen. By spelling "d-o-l-l" into the child's hand, she hoped to teach her to connect objects with letters. Helen quickly learned to form the letters correctly and in the correct order, but did not know she was spelling a word, or even that words existed.
In the days that followed, she learned to spell a great many more words in this uncomprehending way. On April 5, , less than a month after her arrival in Tuscumbia, Anne sought to resolve the confusion her pupil was having between the nouns "mug" and "milk," which Helen confused with the verb "drink.
Anne took Helen to the water pump outside and put Helen's hand under the spout. As the cool water gushed over one hand, she spelled into the other hand the word "w-a-t-e-r" first slowly, then rapidly. Suddenly, the signals had meaning in Helen's mind. She knew that "water" meant the wonderful cool substance flowing over her hand.
Quickly, she stopped and touched the earth and demanded its letter name and by nightfall she had learned 30 words. Helen's early writing, completed seven days before she turned seven the page is dated June 20th, Helen quickly proceeded to master the alphabet, both manual and in raised print for blind readers, and gained facility in reading and writing. It covers time from the 9th century through the 16th and cuts a wide swathe, though with only a passing interest in kings and battles its subtitle is a social history.
Instead it focuses on church architecture, festivals, the brewing of beer, fabulous manifestations, the power of women, and the persecution of Jews among many other things. The author does have a little Protestant nose for A detailed and up-to-date account of medieval life in England as it was lived by the elite and the common.
The author does have a little Protestant nose for Catholic superstition, but generally is descriptive of varied Catholic practice rather than normative and judgmental. Great detail with an up-to-date bibliography and notes. Oct 20, D. Morrese rated it liked it. England in the Middle Ages doesn't sound like an appealing spot in space-time to me.
It's no Renaissance Fair. Between the oppressive authority of the Church and the nobility, and high levels of crime, ignorance, and disease, it's history reads like some kind of dystopian fantasy novel.
Not this particular book, though. It's informative but dry, with lots of compiled data and some statistics. Still, if you're ever tempted to nostalgic dreams of ages gone by, a bit of history like this will snap England in the Middle Ages doesn't sound like an appealing spot in space-time to me. Still, if you're ever tempted to nostalgic dreams of ages gone by, a bit of history like this will snap you out of it.
Jul 06, Tom rated it really liked it Shelves: history. No doubt there are many books that cover in great detail each area touched on in this book. However, if you want a high level overview of the Middle Ages, this is quite good. Covington a variety of topics from religion to entertainment to infrastructure, this book is quite informative and very readable. Since few of the topics covered can be isolated from the others, the author weaves them together effectively without being redundant.
May 01, Jules rated it really liked it Shelves: medieval-history , owned. A simple agrarian life was not all the medieval peasant classes knew. There were diseases like Leprosy and the plague which devastated Europe, the viking invasions, heavy taxation and exploitation and thus the birth of the legend of Robin Hood and the strictly organized guilds and their elaborate mystery plays.
It was a unique and infinitely fascinating period. Nov 02, Johanne rated it liked it. A good if not very brief look at the realities of medieval life I read it almost immediately after re-reading The Time Traveller's guide to Medieval England and they cover roughly the same material. The style is slightly less engaging but I think there is a little more substance here. A good worthwhile read if you want an overview of the lives of medieval people, particularly the third estate.
Feb 19, Scott Martin rated it liked it. Found this a rather interesting social-economic perspective on life in the Middle Ages. Primarily focused in Britain, this work does provide some good insight into the daily lives of the people who lived during those times. It doesn't get too dry and is fairly readable.
A Brief History of My Life Part VII
A good overview for one who doesn't want to delve into the heavy, dry academic perspectives on this time. Oct 05, Briansmom rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , non-fiction-history , england. A tremendously fascinating account of various aspects of living in England during the middle ages. Enjoyable and informative. Jul 03, Booklovers Melbourne rated it liked it.
Stephen Hawking - Movie, Wife & Books - Biography
An interesting short introduction to the period that does an excellent job of giving the reader a glimpse into the day to day lives of those that lived in the Middle Ages. Useful for fleshing out the bones of other historical works from this time period. Jul 03, Steve Williams rated it liked it. Jan 05, Tristan Sherwin rated it really liked it.
- BEFORE YOU GO?
- Steve Poltz: A Brief History of My Life - with special guest Jack Tempchin.
- THE STORY OF MY LIFE;
A very insightful , and well written, look at life in the Middle Ages of Britain. Feb 05, Sharon rated it really liked it. An excellent, well-informed but easy to read account of the Middle Ages in England. Aug 21, Crystal rated it really liked it. Very brief touch and go talk about many aspects of medival life, lays the ground work for more indepth interests.
An introduction for students of Medieval history, basic data and terms are discussed. Focusing on Britain in the Middle Ages, this book presents 11th century rural society through a conversation between a ploughman and his master. Jan 20, Ruth rated it it was amazing. This book is so great! Very informative. It has really helped me with my studies! Alexandru Roman rated it liked it Aug 26, Gustave L. Davis MD rated it it was ok Mar 14, J E rated it liked it Jan 02, Laura rated it really liked it Dec 24, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Readers also enjoyed. About Martyn Whittock. When she was older, she studied art in London and Paris. In Paris, she met her husband, Count Markievicz.
He was from a wealthy Polish family. They married in Constance Gore-Booth became Countess Markievicz.
They had a child and for a time settled in Dublin, enjoying the theatre, painting and tea-parties. Constance began to be interested in the political and social issues of this time. Dublin, in the early s, was the centre for nationalist and social unrest.