Letters of Emily Dickinson

Letters of Emily Dickinson

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Only five of Emily Dickinson's poems were published while she lived; today, approximately 1,500 are in print. Dickinson's poetry reflects the power of her contemplative gifts, and her deep sensitivity courses through her correspondence as well. Lovingly compiled by a close friend, this first collection of Dickinson's letters originally appeared in 1894, only eight years after the poet's death. Although she grew reclusive in her later years and seldom saw her many friends, she thought of them often and affectionately, as her missives attest. The small cast of daily characters in Dickinson's little world takes on vivid life in the letters, and her famous wit sparkles from every page.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 134.62 x 213.36 x 17.78mm | 1,043.26g
  • Dover Publications Inc.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 4
  • 0486428583
  • 9780486428581
  • 86,987

Review Text

This engaging collection of letters begins with the poet's letters to a friend from the age of 14. Immediately the reader is struck by the wide range of reading Dickinson had undertaken by that age. The style of writing suggests a young girl, but the quality of thought and expression is already showing a highly developed imagination. Whether writing to friends, or to her brother, Austin, she writes with directness and passion about the things that concern her. By the careful editing out of matters of immediate interest only to her family and contemporaries the pace is maintained for the reader. Dickinson's increasingly reclusive life (1830-86) is vividly reconstructed in these letters and the poems she included with them. Often she uses a letter to take the place of a visit, and seems to prefer this method of communication to face-to-face conversation. Even in the final letters where Dickinson is at her most religious and philosophical, especially about death, she is always enjoining hope and consolation on her correspondents. Nor is Dickinson always self-effacing as a letter-writer. Often she takes correspondents to task for failing to reply within the time she feels appropriate. She speaks directly to them as though her letters are one half of a dialogue. Lively, witty and with a very conscious choice of diction, she is also quick to appreciate the humour of others and refers closely to letters she has received. Readers familiar with Dickinson's poetry will feel at home with her bright and economical style. The brightness is never brittle, however. This is clearly seen when Dickinson has to deal with bereavement or send condolences, when her words are considered and from the heart. As a more mature woman, she demonstrates sympathy and understanding in place of the passion and devotion of younger days. With the richness of the ideas which continually appear to her it is small wonder that she felt less and less the need to venture away from home. These letters create a world of words which parallels the world she expresses in her poems. (Kirkus UK)show more

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EDITION  I.  To Mrs. A. P. Strong ( 1845-1853) II. To Mr. W. A. Dickinson ( 1847-1854) III.  To Mrs. Cordon L. Ford, Mr. Bowdoin, Mrs. Anthon, and Miss Lavinia Dickinson (1848­-1865)   IV. To Dr. and M,-s. J. C. Holland (1853-1883)  V. To  Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bowles (1858-1881)  VI. To  the Misses (1859-1885) VII. To Mr. T. W. Higginson (1862-1884) VIII.  To Mr. Perez D. Cowan} Miss Maria Whitney, Mr. Bowles, Mr. F. D. Clark, and Mr. C. H. (1870-1885)  IX. To 1\lr. and Mrs. Jenkins, Mrs. Read, Mrs.A. Stearns, Mrs. Edward Tuckerman, Mrs. Cooper, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Hills, Mrs. Jame­son, Mr. Emerson, Maggie Maher, l\lr. and Mrs. Montague, Mrs. W. F. Stearns, Mr. J. K. Chicheringy Mrs. Sweetser, Mr. Niles, Mrs. Carmichael, Dr. and Mrs. Field,  X.. To  Holland, "H.H.," Ivliss Hall, Mrs. Crowell, and Mrs. J. C. GreenoHgh (1872-1885) Mrs. Todd, Mrs. Tuckerman, theMisses --,1\Jr. Clarh, and Mrs. Currier    INDEX   ILLUSTRATIONS CHILD PORTRAIT OF EMILY DICKINSON Frontispiece LETTER TO DR. AND MRS. HOLLAND, facsimileshow more

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202 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 47% (94)
4 38% (76)
3 14% (28)
2 1% (3)
1 0% (1)
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