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MSS.4.512

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8 pages + 1 envelope

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[postmark: BOSTON MASS. APR 13 11-PM 1913]

Miss Whitney

The Charlesgate

Boston, Mass.

Dorchester, Mass.

April 13, 1913

Dear Miss Whitney:

The editor of "Life & Labor" writes that she would like to print my review of "The Mortal Gods," but she fears it is too long; she will consult her co-editor. I have written offering to shorten it.

It does seem as if Mrs. [written in pencil: [Olive Tilford]] Dargan ought to be where she can be petted and [deletion: tenderly]tenderly cared for. Yet I incline to think that solitude really is medicinal for her, and that the instinct which leads her to seek it is probably right. You see, her nerves were for years under a severe strain - all the time that she was with her

husband - it will take her years to recover from that trying experience - and she can relax better when no one is paying attention to her and she does not have to pay any attention to anybody. She has not written me a word to this effect; her communications have been very few and short. But my impression is based on my observation of her [deletion: tempr]

temperament in the past. Years ago I perceived that she seemed to be built that way - or at any rate that her brain and nervous system now seemed to be in that condition. I have no means of knowing whether she was so originally, for I did not become acquainted with her till after her health was all broken up owing to the terrible and prolonged strain that she had been under with that

half-insane man. Why the Lord ever allowed him to come into her life is one of the mysteries. If he had died in his cradle she might be a well & happy woman today.

She seemed to me to be a person whose mind reacts on the body even more than is the case with most people. When her mind is at ease her body has a chance to recover. It has been worth everything to her that your affection made

it possible for her to put the ocean between herself and that man - of whom I can hardly speak with patience, though I know that we ought to think of him with pity rather than anger. Now she is completely out of the way of hearing anything about him, or seeing even any chance allusion in a newspaper. But then came along this unhappy affair of her sister's, & for more than a year her heart has been wrung with

absolute anguish over that; & of course that has delayed her recovery. And now on top of everything else comes the failure of this book from which she had hoped so much. She is in a state of mind where her chronic disposition to crave solitude is intensified. At least, so it seems to me, for I can only guess at the matter. And my

impression is that we had better not urge her to come home - because it would [deletion: n] only distress her without prevailing upon her to do it - but that we should administer mental medicine in any way that we can, to cheer her up. With that view I am exerting myself to get some better reviews of her book into the few papers with which I have a "pull." And if she can write a few songs or other short pieces in her simpler style (about which I shall continue to prod her) she can probably dispose of them,

and a little success and encouragement may act like [deletion: mg] magic on her health - would help it somewhat, anyhow. If we can devise any way whereby she may earn some money by her pen, it will allay the gnawing [deletion: ax] anxiety about her sister & her sister's children, which is like a vulture feeding on her vitals; and it will put a stop to her fool ideas of going back to school teaching in order to earn money. For I am sure it is mainly for the sake of helping her sister that she is thinking of doing it. My self reproach is bitter that I have not yet reviewed her book for the Women's Journal; but it was very late in reaching me, and as I wanted to write a long &

[written along left side of the page: elaborate review, I had to wait for time - & the time never seemed to come. I am afraid it will be impossible]

[written along left side of the page: for me to do it this week, for I am overwhelmed. But by Monday afternoon I ought to receive the]

[written along left side of the page: Sunday call with my article about the book; & the first copy goes to her and the second to you.

Yours cordially, Alice Stone Blackwell.]

Letter from Alice Stone Blackwell, Dorchester, Massachusetts, to Anne Whitney, Boston, Massachusetts, 1913 April 13

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