New York Times Book Review
March 16, 1919, p. 135.


The Worlds and I. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Illustrated.  New York: George H. Doran Company. $3.50

There has been much that is interest-
ing in the life of Ella Wheeler Wil-
cox.  Her childhood was spent on a far-
away farm in Wisconsin, and the family
was poor.  Of formal education she had
little enough--for a little while she went
to "Madison University," she says, and
was unhappy and came home.  She began
to write as a child, and her faith in her
own talent never wavered.  She has wan-
dered pretty much about the world, al-
ways believing tremendously in herself
and always finding life interesting, always
working, too, very hard.  She tells of all
this in a long, richly illustrated book,
which will without doubt find many read-
ers.
  A characteristic bit in her autobiography
is the chapter in which she tells how she
wrote "Poems of Passion" and the flood
of censure that greeted that book.  She
says:

    My knowledge of life was bounded by
  visits to Madison and Milwaukee, Chi-
  cago, and some lesser villages; and by
  books I had read and letters I had re-
  ceived from more or less intellectual
  people.  The works of Gautier, Dau-
  det, Ouida, with a bit of Shakespeare,
  Swinburne, and Byron.  (I had never
  possessed an entire volume of any of
  these poets.) no doubt lent to my
  vivid imagination and temperamental
  nature the flame which produced the
  censured verses.  Were I to live my
  life over, with the wisdom of years and
  the knowledge of the world to start
  with, I surely would not publish
  "Poems of Passion."  Yet looking
  back across the years and realizing all
  that has ensued since that day, I feel
  that it was one of the stairs by which
  I was ordained to climb out of ob-
  scurity and poverty, through painfully
  glaring and garish light, into a clearer
  and higher atmosphere and a larger
  world of usefulness.

  It is interesting to note that with the
first proceeds of the book the author was
able to rebuild her old home, which had
been fast falling into decay.
  The story of her romantic engagement
and happy marriage Mrs. Wilcox tells in
a good deal of detail.  The last part of the
book is largely taken up with spiritualistic
experiences, which she narrates in arrest-
ing detail.  She also tells of some of her
experiences in wartime in France.