letters from dickinson to frances and louise norcross

Thomas Johnson's Note on Letter 401

MANUSCRIPT: destroyed.

PUBLICATION: L (1894) 274-275; LL 286, in small part; L (1931) 250.

The Norcross sisters lived in Boston at the Hotel Berkeley from February 1873 until April 1874. Edward Dickinson was elected a representative to the Massachusetts legistlature on 5 November. Jay Cooke (1821-1905), a Philadelphia banker, was principal financial agent for the Federal Government during the Civil War. His house suspended business, 18 September 1873, having overextended credit in building the Northern Pacific Railroad, and thus precipitated one of the worst financial panics in United States history. Middlemarch, by George Eliot, had recently been published (1872), and all had evidently been reading it. Loo is here identified with the heroine, the unhappy Dorothea Casaubon, who in the end marries Will Ladislaw. "Did" was the nickname of Martha Dickinson's friend Sally Jenkins. The Dickinson's gardener, Horace Church, was regarded as a village "tradition" (see no. 692). The scripture paraphrase is 1 Corinthians 2.9.

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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 21, 1998