Biography of Spirtual Co-Author Pearl Curran Part 2

About the automatic writer Pearl Curran who produced a large amount of poetry and books through the help of the spirit world.


She Wrote Best-sellers Dictated by a Spirit

The contents of the poems were frequently philosophic:

O venerable aged Time

Whose sickle is the moon;

Who reacheth Eternity holding

The lamp, the sun.

O venerable time, who treads

The pathway of Eternity, crushing

The universe as pebbles beneath his feet,

Nodding anon to thee and me, in passing.

Nature and children were also favorite topics, and religion was a pervasive, underlying theme:

And the hem of His garment lay

Upon the rim of the earth, within

The grasp of man, yet he seeth it not.

He may kneel upon it, and hide his face

Within it; he may bind up his wounds

Of its substance; he may lie him down

And sleep upon its folds;

Yet he seeth it not!

But the collaboration did not stop at these relatively brief poems. It also produced at least seven novels, several short stories, and one play, as well as numerous prayers and dissertations. One novel, The Sorry Tale, contained over 300,000 words and resulted from two years spent over the Ouija board. Another novel, Tekla, was only 60,000 words in length and tumbled out within a 35-hour period of inspiration.

Who were these prolific partners? Pearl Curran, when her life first took this strange turn, was the 30-year-old wife of a Missouri immigration commissioner. She was characterized as "a happy housewife, "honest, without literary ability or training, of above-average intelligence and mental quickness, but provincial and uninformed. Born in Mound City, Ill., Pearl described her mother as being "nervous, keen, ambitious, talented as a singer; [she] aspired to write before [her] marriage at 18." Pearl's father had been educated in an Ithaca, N.Y., military school and had worked as an artist, a railroad clerk, a journalist, a business executive, and a free-lance writer.

After her brilliant collaboration with Patience Worth had stirred national--even international--interest and controversy, much was made of the apparent deficiency in Pearl Curran's education. During her formative years, she had lived primarily in Texas, Missouri, and Illinois. It was claimed that education in these "hinterland" localities had prepared her to contribute no more than just a passive assistance to literary genius. The argument was advanced that Patience Worth was indeed the authoress, and Pearl Curran was simply a psychic stenographer.

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