Selected Book
The Book of Thel: The Memoirs of Thelma Spencer

The Book of Thel: The Memoirs of Thelma Spencer

The Book of Thel: The Memoirs of Thelma Spencer
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Taken from a review by Wendell Bradsher 1/28/03: The Book of Thel is uniquely written with an abundance of pertinent detail, and we move methodically along the time line of a well-lived life....She states that at her birth, "Granny hefted me above her gray, top-knotted head and said, 'I declare, honey, you're a sorry-looking prospect.'...I set out to prove her wrong." And Granny was wrong, if indeed we can believe such a thing was ever spoken from the mouth of the sacred institution of Grannyhood. For in these memoirs, we find a most noble soul - from its delicate bud, to its fragrant bloom, and on to its full maturity. As Plutarch said of Alcibiades, we can say of Thel, that her beauty "bloomed with her in all ages of her life, in her infancy, in her youth, and in her womanhood; and, in the peculiar character becoming to each of these periods, gave her, in every one of them, a grace and a charm...." The Book of Thel affects in aggregate, a deeply pathetic nostalgia in the richest and most goodly sense - that being a species of melancholy which mourns the ever so near yet infinitely distant past, of a childhood and society that is now only a vapor, a reverie, a phantom. Such is the legacy left to the world by Thelma Spencer in her memoirs. 

"Of all the experiences I had in those marvelous days when life was opening to me as an independent woman in quest of identity, love and learning, my time was splendidly spent in the short time I worked for the National Woman's Party in Washington, DC. In addition to my securing a reprinting of the history of the Party, I acquired the Alice Paul desk and interviewed the suffrage leader just four months before she died in August of 1977. All of the above were accomplished through my relationship with Bill Denlinger, a relationship I have treasured through the years....We shared everything, discussed it all, and made mutually agreeable decisions. In short, for the first time ever, I felt in control of my life. When I mentioned to Bill in the winter of 1977 that it would be exciting to go to New Jersey and interview Alice Paul in the nursing home, his response was, 'Great idea!' So, off we went on the trip that generated one of the most exhilarating experiences I ever had - a visit with Alice Paul." 
Hardcover 136 pages, 9-1/4 inches by 11-1/4 inches