Excerpts from: Miss Marks and Miss Woolley by Anna Mary Wells Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1978.

 Miss Woolley taught Biblical Studies before she became president
of Mount Holyoke College. Miss Marks were her student.  They fell
in love, but found conflict arising from popular anti-lesbian
beliefs at the time, which generated internalized homophobia.  
Before their own and the publicís realizations about the nature
of their relationship they enjoyed each otherís company and being 
in love.  I have extracted some of the more positive excerpts for
letters between the two, reprinted in the book Miss Marks and
Miss Woolley  
[According to the introduction to this book some letters of Miss 
Woolley are to be opened in 1999, as per Miss Woolley 
instructions.  Interesting that I should have just discovered 
this book, at the end of 1998!  I can wait to see whatís in those 

Excerpts from Miss Marks and Miss Woolley:
Miss Woolley became aware of how painful the separation would be
when Jeannette was graduated and she herself left Wellesley...Now
it appeared that the intimacy must come to an end. Under this 
threat the two women made in March a mutual declaration of ardent
and exclusive love. .. Mary Woolley used the language and imagery
of the Bible, Jeannette Marks that of the English romantic 
poets... They exchanged tokens, a ring and a jeweled pin, with
pledges of lifelong fidelity. "If you knew what a lonely feeling
I have every night when I do not see you, you would realize what
the thought of our separation next year means to me.  I have such 
a feeling of security in your love, Jeannette.  I know that it
will not change... I rest in your love in a way that makes me
stronger and happier (p. 56-57)  

'"Your coming is my rest and refreshment and delight after my
hours of work...Oh! my dear little girl, do you not know, can you 
not understand, that you do just as much for me as I can possibly
do for you?  I want to be what you thing that I am Jeannette- the 
fact that I love you makes me wish to be more in the world... you
are an inspiration to me, dear, as well as my greatest comfort...
Does it seem possible that it is only a few short weeks since we 
have felt that we could say allthat we feel without restraint or 
constraint?  Two such proud ladies, too, each one afraid that she
felt more than the other and determined to keep her own self 
respect! ...I am so glad that it is not a sudden "possessing," 
Jeannette, that for five years it has been coming surely to pass 
and that for almost three years I have realized that you were 
very dear to me, never as dear, however as you are today." (p.57)

"You know that you have given me this great birthday gift, one
which will make this birthday different from any that I have ever
spent.  I shall thank God for it tomorrow as the great gift which
this year has brought to me, my Treasure... I wonder whether it
often falls to the lot of mortals to love as we do. My own Love,
should we not be very thankful for this supreme gift which makes
life so full and rich and deep and tender?" (p. 57)

"...if only the separation need not come!  It will be so hard
this coming year- first the ocean between me and all that I love,
and then the new work among strangers!  If only you were to be 
with me , dearest, if only!... Besides,  we can not afford to be 
separated! We should be bankrupt in the stationary and postage 

"I cannot grow reconciled to the thought of being away from you.
Even a day or two is hard... Dearest, my dearest, it is hard not
to have your good night kiss.. God in His providence has given me
this love when I most need it, when I am about to take up 
crushing responsibilities... Do you realize what it means to have
you, the heart of my life, to talk with you as I would with my 
own soul, to have nothing hid, to feel that we are one?" 

"My own Darling, the year has brought me no gift as great as your
love." (p. 61)

"But my work is one thing.  I am interested in it; I intend to
put myself into it, but it is not myself.  You are that- my very
heart- my Love." (p. 64)

"It is just like having an unremitting pain, this having you 
away.  There is a dull ache all the time, and I long, long for 
you... I think that you do not know, Dearie, how my real life is 
just bound up in you.  Everything, my work, my happiness, has you
as its center. (p. 107)

Jeannette- in Gallant Little Wales frontispiece picture of the
Ladies of Llangollen:
"two dear quaint, sentimental souls, with personalities 
sufficiently marked and fearless so that they were unafraid to be 
themselves...Lady Eleanor Butler was the daughter of the Earl of
Ormond. She was born in Dublin and was both wealthy and 
beautiful.  The Honorable Miss [Sarah] Ponsonby, a member of an
ancient family, was an early friend of Lady Eleanor.  She, too, 
was born in Dublin, and both lost their parents at the same time.
  They loved independence and did not love their suitors.  Many
things drew them together and, as Wordsworth aptly phrases it,
they retired into notice in the Vale of Llangollen." (p. 136)

"A friendship which was better than life itself came to my rescue
and Mary Woolley and I became close friends." (p. 265)