Section VI: Coping with Health Problems and Family Crises
An essay on 'Silent Spring' by Rachel Carson.
Other concerns, namely her family and her health, delayed the anticipated finishing date for Silent Spring.
Born on May 27, 1907, Rachel Carson was always close to her family. Her parents moved in with her in 1930. In 1935 her father died. In 1957, at age 50, she adopted her five-year-old grandnephew, Roger Christie, after his mother passed away. Rachel Carson also took care of her ailing mother, with whom she was close. In December of 1958, Carson's mother died.
Carson's own health also delayed her progress. In addition to other ailments, Carson was diagnosed with breast cancer in the early in the spring of 1960. She underwent a radical mastectomy in April of that year. Until her death on April 14, 1964, she was continuously treated for cancer.
Due to her deteriorating health and to the massive amount of information needed for the book, she hired Mrs. Jeanne Davis as her secretary in 1959. Mrs. Davis played a significant role in bringing the book to a conclusion. Carson said that she was sustained by a serene, inner conviction that the book was going to built on an unshakable foundation.(1)
- (1)PBS video. (We have not used Rachel Carson's exact words because Fran Collins, the Trustee of Rachel Carson's estate, does not want any quotations from Carson to appear on the WWW. You may read her exact words in the source cited.)