|"I have been bidding goodbye to some places today. There are so many nooks, dear, and all of them so dear to me.... First I said goodbye to the spring house with its great masses of green moss, then the apple tree where we had our playhouse, then the "Beehive," a cute little house in the orchard, and of course all the neighbors that have mended my dresses from a little tot up to save me a thrashing I really deserved.... I know I shall never see any of them again."
Those words, written a century ago by Grace Brown, a 20-year-old pregnant farm girl to her lover, Chester Gillette, were intended only for him. They caused a national sensation later that year when they were read at her murder trial. Her words were on the front page of newspapers across the country and were transcribed into An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser and A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly. They were also part of the libretto for Tobias Picker's 2005 opera, "An American Tragedy."
Read for yourself the letters that started it all. Every word is included here along with an introduction and carefully annotated footnotes explaining all the significant background and details from their lives. Also included are photographs of the people and places described in them.
This edition includes Grace Brown's recently discovered 1902 diary.