letters from dickinson to elizabeth holland

Thomas Johnson's Note on Letter 311

MANUSCRIPT: missing.

PUBLICATION: L (1894) 176-177; L (1931) 169-170; LH 69-70.

Letters written to Mrs. Holland in the three-year interval since the last (no. 269) do not survive, but the tone of this one certainly suggests that there had been a hiatus in their correspondence. Margaret O'Brien (sometimes O'Bryan) married Stephen Lawler on 18 October; it was her first marriage and his second (see Appendix 2). Martha Gilbert Smith's two-year-old daughter died on 3 November; an infant son had died in 1861.

The word failing in the fifth paragraph is probably a misprint for sailing. Samuel Bowles sailed from San Francisco on 28 October, and the Republican announced his return but did not name the port for which he was bound. (A photograph of Bowles made at this time is mentioned in letter no. 962.) The remark about Dr. Holland probably alludes to the fact that his Life of Abraham Lincoln (1865) was at the moment being translated into German, an item of news which one supposes Mrs. Holland had passed on to ED; the volume was issued in Springfield from the same press that published the version in English. Mrs. Holland must also have commented on the fact that a friend was dying, evidently a person unknown to ED.

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lv26@umail.umd.edu>
Last updated on January 23, 1999