of the thronging events of the Spirit which eternally preoccupied her.
present record is made up from family letters hitherto withheld,
deathless recollections, and many sentences overheard from her own
lips and scrupulously set down as too unique to
be squandered upon the passing moment. The Letters formerly printed
have now been chronologically arranged, and as far as of intrinsic
value, retained; others have been added from my article in the
"Atlantic Monthly," and "The Single Hound," a
volume composed entirely of poetic flashes sent to her brother's
wife, my mother, on every gust of impulse.
high exigence constrains the sole survivor of her family to state
her simply and truthfully, in view of a public which has, doubtless
without intention, misunderstood and exaggerated her seclusion
amassing a really voluminous stock of quite lurid misinformation of
irrelevant personalities. She has been taught in colleges as a
weird recluse, rehearsed to women's clubs as a lovelorn
sentimentalist even betrayed by one American essayist of
repute to appear a fantastic eccentric.
the other hand, she has been named "the Feminine Walt
Whitman" in at least one of the great universities; in another;