Poet Ella Wheeler (Wilcox) was born on this date in Johnston, Wisconsin; she was the youngest of four children. After the family moved to Madison when she was very young, she began to write poetry. When she graduated from high school, she was already a very accomplished and well known poet. In 1884 she married Robert Wilcox from Meriden, Connecticut, where the couple lived before moving to New York City. The couple then moved out onto Long Island, where they constructed two homes and several smaller cottages. These would later serve as retreats and gatherings of their literary and artistic friends from the region. The couple became interested in theosophy and spiritualism soon after they married; this only intensified after the death of their only child, a son, who died soon after his birth. These philosophies figured heavily in her work. She was a very popular and well known poet of her time, and embraced the New Thought movement, a school of monotheistic religious thought that would lead to the founding of Christian Science. Being an immensely popular and well known poet, it is hardly surprising that her work would be used for scenarios in early narrative independent film. The first of these came in 1914 with The Price He Paid, produced, not surprisingly, by the new thought Humanology Film Producing Company. In all, four films were made from scenarios found in her poems between 1914 and 1917. In 1916 her beloved husband Robert passed away, sending her into a depth of grief that she had never experienced before, even after the death of her infant. This prompted her to seek even deeper answers in the realm of spiritualism and theosophy, where she sought help from a prominent Rosicrucian of the time. This lead to an autobiography which was published one year prior to her own death. Wheeler Wilcox passed away on the 30th of October, after battling cancer, in 1918 in Short Beach, Connecticut, she was 68 years of age. She is buried on the family estate there with he husband; location New Haven County.
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