letters from dickinson to frances and louise norcross

Thomas Johnson's Note on Letter 337

MANUSCRIPT: destroyed.

PUBLICATION: L (1894) 258; L (1931) 237-238.

This letter, written with the casual intimacy which characterizes those addressed to the Norcross girls, draws to an unusual extent upon the literary and domestic assocations which the girls will understand. At the household level ED speaks about the horse Dick, about Tim (Scannell?), Maggie Maher, and Horace Church (see Appendix 2 for identification of persons named). The phrase "ail till evening" recalls Browning's Sordello (see letter 477). Thomas More's "The Last Rose of Summer," set to music, was in any volume of familiar songs. The Atlantic Almanac (profusely illustrated and edited, with literary selections, by Oliver Wendell Holmes and Donald Grant Mitchell) in its issue for 1870 carried two prose essays that would have special appeal for ED: one by Higginson, titled "Swimming"; and one by James Russell Lowell, "A Good Word for Winter." It is this latter essay, almost certainly, which she here warmly recommends to Louise Norcross.

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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 December 20, 1998