letters from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Letter 450

MANUSCRIPT: BPL (Higg 81). Ink.

PUBLICATION: L (1931) 297-298.

Daniel Deronda began running serially in the March issue of Harper's Monthly, and this letter may well have been written after ED had seen an announcement of its impending publication (in book form later in the year), but before she had read the first installment (see letters no. 456 and 457). "Father's Clergyman" was the pastor of the First Church, the Reverend Jonathan L. Jenkins (see letter no. 464). The expression ³Candor is the only wile" is ED's succinct rephrasing of the following thought, in Higginson's "Prelude" to his novel Malbone: An Oldport Romance (1869): "One learns, in growing older, that no fiction can be so strange nor appear so improbable as would the simple truth. . ."

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
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Last updated on September 9, 1998