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BATES, KATHARINE LEE - Uncommon ALS by 'America the Beautiful' author Katherine Lee Bates
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BATES, KATHARINE LEE - Uncommon ALS by 'America the Beautiful' author Katherine Lee Bates

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BATES, KATHARINE LEE. (1859-1929). Prolific author of poems, children’s books and, most notably, the poem “America the Beautiful.” ALS. (“Katharine Lee Bates”). 1p. 8vo. Wellesley, November 24, 1923. On Wellesley College Department of English Literature stationery. To Miss Hyde.


Under a special drive of work for the part ten days or so, I have had to let unanswered letters snowdrift my desk. And now that I come to yours, I see that the dates in which you suggested a call ― dates that I could not have cleared for you ― have gone by. If you are able to come out next Monday afternoon, I could see you at four oclock or later, but not again before December. The late afternoon of Saturday the first and Monday the third are at present free… Please telephone Wellesley, 0723. M”


A professor of literature at Wellesley College, Bates was a prolific author, penning numerous volumes of poetry, travelogues, children’s books, and articles for periodicals including the Atlantic Monthly, Boston Evening Transcript andLippincott’s. Her 1889 volume,Sunshine and other Verses for Children, includedthe poem“Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride” which popularized the figure of Mrs. Claus. But it was for her poem “America the Beautiful” that she is beloved and remembered. Inspired by sites she saw on a train trip to Colorado, including the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the wheat fields of Kansas and the view from Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains, she penned the first draft in 1893. The poem published in 1895 in The Congregationalist was set to music by numerous composers. However, it became best known set to the hymn tune written by composer Samuel A. Ward and published in 1910. 


Bates penned our letter the same year her Little Robin Stay-Behind, and Other Plays in Verse for Childrenwas published.


Folded with some light creasing. Written in Bates’ neat hand. In excellent condition and uncommon.



Item #20296


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