January 13, 1910 Letter to Mrs. Jackson

It is unclear who "Mrs. Jackson" is; she is not the novelist and Indian rights activist, Helen Hunt Jackson, who died in 1885. Helen Hunt Jackson was well known to Higginson, and he had many contacts with her.

Much of Higginson's work in the later years of his life was autobiographical. In this lecture he had described the "interruptions and queer communications" in his life as like the story of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge who claimed that he could not "finish" his poem "Kubla Khan" because he had been interrupted by a "man from Porlock."

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Jan 13, 1910

Dear Mrs. Jackson

Should any
inquiry be made in regard to
"The Man from Porlock"
you can refer them to Coleridge's poem
called "Kubla Khan" where his presentation
of an important person is destroyed for
ever by his being called out to see a
man on business "from Porlock", who
detained him an above hour. In this
lecture I there is some description of
my interruptions & queer communications
through life

Cordially yours

Thomas Wentworth Higginson

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