Helen Keller's Secret Love Life Revealed in New Book

In Life by Wendy Michaels , on Thursday, May 10, 2012, 12:09 PM (PDT)
helen keller
Helen Keller had a secret love life?


New Book Reveals Helen Keller's Secret Relationship

Helen Keller's incredibly triumphant story has fascinated many for years, but did you know about her hidden love life?

Not much has been told of Keller's romantic relationships, though it's an interesting aspect to consider.

Keller's struggles, triumphs and remarkable life story as a deaf and blind person were well documented and retold in the film The Miracle Worker.

In a new novel called Helen Keller in Love, however, author Rosie Sultan sheds light on Keller's romantic relationship -- a love affair in her 30s, where she was secretly engaged to a man.

Who knew?

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Sultan writes in a blog for the Huffington Post: "I, like many people, had not really thought of her as a woman -- with normal romantic and carnal desires."

The book tells of how a 29-year-old Boston Herald reporter named Peter Fagan was sent to be Keller's private secretary.

The couple were engaged and planned to marry, but it was her mother who, when finding out about their marriage license from a newspaper report, kicked Fagan out of their home.

Keller wrote, "The love which had come, unseen and unexpected, departed with tempest on his wings."

In Sultan's novel, she tells of how the two fell in love, but her family and society did not believe women with disabilities should marry.

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Sultan explains that Keller's "triumph over multiple disabilities and her enormous celebrity had trapped her within a constricting saintliness and an image of purity. Though she could speak up about equality, the rights of others -- even, occasionally, sexuality -- she was not granted the rights she sought for others."

Helen Keller never married.

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