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The imprisoned guest : Samuel Howe and Laura Bridgman, the original deaf-blind girl

Author: Elisabeth Gitter
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In 1837, Samuel Gridley Howe, director of Boston's Perkins Institution for the Blind, heard about a bright, deaf-blind seven year old, the daughter of New Hampshire farmers. At once he resolved to rescue her from the darkness and silence of the tomb, and indeed, thanks to Howe and an extraordinary group of female teachers, Laura Bridgman learned to finger-spell, to read raised letters, and to write legibly and even  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Biographies
Named Person: Laura Dewey Bridgman; S G Howe; Laura Dewey Bridgman; S G Howe; Laura Dewey Bridgman; S G Howe
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Elisabeth Gitter
ISBN: 0374117381 9780374117382
OCLC Number: 45052659
Description: x, 341 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Laura --
Chevalier --
Institutions --
Mind --
Found --
Awakening --
Angel --
Second acts --
Sea changes --
Teachers and teaching --
Attachments --
Lamentations --
Legacies --
Revisions --
Epilogue: Passing.
Responsibility: Elisabeth Gitter.
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Abstract:

In 1837, Samuel Gridley Howe, director of Boston's Perkins Institution for the Blind, heard about a bright, deaf-blind seven year old, the daughter of New Hampshire farmers. At once he resolved to rescue her from the darkness and silence of the tomb, and indeed, thanks to Howe and an extraordinary group of female teachers, Laura Bridgman learned to finger-spell, to read raised letters, and to write legibly and even eloquently. Philosophers, poets, educators, theologians, and early psychologists hailed Laura as a moral inspiration and a living laboratory for the most controversial ideas of the day. She quickly became a major tourist attraction, and many influential writers and reformers visited her or wrote about her. But as the Civil War loomed and her girlish appeal faded, the public began to lose interest. By the time Laura died in 1889, she had been wholly eclipsed by the prettier, more ingratiating Helen Keller. The Imprisoned Guest retrieves Laura Bridgman's forgotten life, placing it in the context of nineteenth-century American social, intellectual, and cultural history. Her troubling, tumultuous relationship with Howe, who rode Laura's achievements to his own fame, but could not cope with the intense, demanding adult she became, sheds light on the contradictory attitudes of a progressive era, in which we can find some precursors of our own.

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