<i>What Katy Did</i> - A Recognition of Feminism from Randall House Rare Books
Here is another woman who could swing a mean tomahawk, or at least, a mean ax. Well... maybe that's not fair. She was acquitted. Item 99 is The Fall River Tragedy. A History of the Borden Murders, by Edwin H. Porter, published in 1893. On a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden's father and stepmother were discovered in their Fall River, Massachusetts, home, victims of a brutal murder. Though many suspected her of the murder, the jury concluded there was insufficient evidence that Lizzie had given her mother 40 whacks, or her father 41. While there had been problems in the family, and much reason to suspect Miss Borden, there was never the clear piece of evidence to connect her, though no one else was suspected. Randall House proclaims "she was about as innocent as O.J. Simpson." Lizzie never found the real killer either. The first edition of Porter's book is offered together with the 1985 limited edition facsimile reprint. $1,500.
Item 112 is a biography of a woman who was something of a precursor to Helen Keller: Life and Education of Laura Dewey Bridgman. The Deaf, Dumb and Blind Girl. We don't know whether Laura played a mean pinball, but she managed to learn to read by touch and become educated in numerous subjects. At one point, Charles Dickens visited and wrote about Miss Bridgman. It was Dickens' account which would later lead to Helen Keller's mother contacting the Perkins School for the Blind, where Bridgman lived, and hiring a teacher from that school (Anne Sullivan) to work with her daughter. The author of this 1878 book, Mary Swift Lamson, was one of Miss Bridgman's teachers at Perkins. $125.
Item 531 is a letter from the remarkable Miss Keller, dated November 24, 1936. The letter was written less than a month after the death of her teacher and "miracle worker," Anne Sullivan. The now 56-year-old Keller writes, "...it is winter in my life since the guardian angel of fifty years no longer walks by my side on earth." $1,500.
Item 102 is One Special Summer, a journal of a 1951 trip to Europe by Jacqueline and Lee Bouvier. It was originally written by the two young women as a thanks to their mother for allowing them to take this trip alone. However, by the time it was published in 1974, Jacqueline had grown up to be the wife of a president and now a wealthy Greek shipping magnate, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, while Lee had married Price Radziwill, who was Prince of... I really have no idea what he was prince of. This is one of 500 copies signed by both sisters. $1,000.
Randall House Rare Books may be reached at 805-963-1909 or Pia@RandallHouseRareBooks.com. The website is www.RandallHouseRareBooks.com.