• Created Date
  • 1958
  • Description
  • Biography of William Hickling Prescott probably written by Perkins' Research Librarian Nelson Coon. Typewritten on blue paper. Text from item: William Hickling Prescott, 1796-1859 Born in Salem, May 4, 1796. Entered sophmore class at Harvard 1811 at the age of fifteen. In his junior year he was hit in the eye by a hard piece of bread which produced paralysis of the retina. He was never able to use the eye afterward. Not long afterwards his oth... more
    Biography of William Hickling Prescott probably written by Perkins' Research Librarian Nelson Coon. Typewritten on blue paper. Text from item: William Hickling Prescott, 1796-1859 Born in Salem, May 4, 1796. Entered sophmore class at Harvard 1811 at the age of fifteen. In his junior year he was hit in the eye by a hard piece of bread which produced paralysis of the retina. He was never able to use the eye afterward. Not long afterwards his other eye became affected and he came near losing it also. For months at a time he could not use it at all or for a very few minutes a day. He graduated in 1814 and gave some attention to law but his health, particularly his eye would not permit him to continue his studies. He had an acute attack of rheumatism, which affected his better eye, and for a time it was feared he would be totally blind. In 1815 he spent some time in the Azores and later spent time in Europe and received the best medical attention that London and Paris afforded. He returned home in 1817 without really having had any permanent help. It was necessary to darken the walls of his room and place a green carpet on the floor. For a long time he remained in a darkened room, his friends reading to him six or eight hours a day. May 4, 1820 he married Susan Amory. His work of writing was done under almost insurmountable difficulties. Practically all his writing was done by having a reader. Very concentious [sic] in his writings. He would spend days in verifying a statement. He necessarily relied on his memory; it is said he would compose fifty or sixty pages, correct them and re-arrange them before he would commit them to paper. He finished his "Ferdinand and Isabella" after ten years of work. [Nelson Coon]. less
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  • Samuel P. Hayes Research Library, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA. Contact host institution for more information.