the publication of these letters, the task of editing the poetry and
prose of Emily Dickinson, undertaken in the spring of 1950, is
brought to its conclusion. The introductions and notes which
follow herein extend the narrative begun in the 1955 edition of the
poems, and, together with the interpretive biography issued likewise
in 1955, set forth the story of Emily Dickinson's
life and writing as fully as I know how to tell it.
take pleasure in recording again the acknowledgments which I made in The
Poems of Emily Dickinson, The work of preparing the poems and
letters constantly overlapped, and the generosity of those who have
assisted the first undertaking extends equally to this. My
initial debt, most gladly owned, is to Mr. Gilbert H. Montague, whose
gift to Harvard College Library provided funds for the purchase of
the Dickinson manuscripts and other family papers from the late
Alfred Leete Hampson, the heir to the literary estate. Mrs.
Alfred Leete Hampson has always stood ready to extend help upon
request and her assistance, effectively and quietly given, has been important.
wish to thank those who have served in an advisory capacity: Mr.
Frederick B. Adams, Jr., Mr. Edward C. Aswell, Mr. Julian P. Boyd,
and Mr. Robert E. Spiller.
take pleasure in expressing gratitude to the following persons who
willingly gave me access to Dickinson letters which they owned: Dr.
J.Dellinger Barney, Mr. Clifton Waller Barrett, Dr. Mary Bennett,
Mrs. Graham B. Blame, Mr. Francis Bowles, Mrs. John Nicholas Brown,
Mr. Orton L. Clark, Mr. H. B. Collamore, Mrs. T. Franklin Currier,
Mrs. Morgan B. Cushing, Mr. Frank Davidson, Miss Elizabeth S.
Dickerman, Mr. Clarence Dickinson, Miss Marion E. Dodd, Miss Julia S.
L. Dwight, Mrs. Edward T. Esty, Mrs. Howard B. Field, Mrs. Leon
Godchaux, Mrs. William L. Hallowell, Mr. Francis Russell Hart, Mr.
Seth P. Holcombe, Mr. Josiah G. Holland, Mr. Richard Hooker, Mr.
Parkman Howe, Miss Helen Jackson, Sister Mary James,