Audrey Dimond was married with two children when she fell in love with Ted Geisel. Mr. Geisel, 18 years her senior, was also married. In the wake of their affair, Mr. Geisel's wife, Helen, committed suicide, causing, as Mrs. Geisel puts it, ''a rather large ripple in the community of La Jolla.'' Mrs. Dimond divorced her husband to marry Mr. Geisel, 64, and when she did, her daughters, 9 and 14, were sent away to school.
Though Helen recovered, she was never out of pain and never was able to work again at her former speed and strength. She continued to strongly support Ted, helped run Beginner Books, traveled to different places around the world with Ted, and made her own contributions to children's literature (under her maiden name), but the pain, fatigue and despair grew worse, even after their hiring an assistant to work with them at the Tower in La Jolla. Their close and loving relationship began to deteriorate as Helen could no longer provide the support, nurturing and protection Ted required to be able to freely create. Finally, in an act that niece Peggy said was done "out of absolute love for Ted," Helen committed suicide by overdose in the fall of 1967.