Many moons ago I lived. Again I come. Patience Worth my name. Wait, I would speak with thee. If thou shalt live, then so shall I… Good friends, let us be merrie.
On July 8th 1913, after months of experimentation, a St. Louis housewife named Pearl Curran finally had a breakthrough with her Ouija board.
From this initial correspondence, Pearl Curran wrote (or depending on your perspective, transcribed) millions of words she attributed to a seventeenth-century poet who called herself Patience Worth.
Historical novels, religious tracts, and lyric poems were published and embraced by mainstream scholars as authentic examples of early American literature mediated from beyond the grave.
The figure of Patience Worth was commended as an exemplary writer by organizations such as the Joint Committee of Literary Arts of New York.
She was included in journals alongside such future canonical authors as Edna St. Vincent Millay and she appeared in collections such as the Anthology of Magazine Writing and the Yearbook of American Poetry.
All the more amazingly, readers and critics agreed that this was new work by a woman who claimed to have been dead for more two and a half centuries.