A biographical commonplace about the nineteenth-century American poet
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) is that she was a recluse who wrote in complete
solitude. However, the manuscripts presented in this sampler of her writings
show that such stories about her life and writing process are not true or are,
at most, partial truths. In these screens, browsers can see Dickinson sending
one of her poems to a correspondent and then rewriting the poem in consultation
with that reader, Emily's sister-in-law Susan Dickinson. Their exchange about
this poem raises questions of identity central, really, to all practices of
· How do these documents alter conceptions of who Emily Dickinson the poet was (i.e., the biography of the author)?As you examine the manuscripts and notes featured here, many other questions and insights will surely arise, and we would greatly appreciate your comments and inquiries.
Harvard University. Not to be reproduced in whole or in part
without permission. Transcription and commentary copyright 1999 by
Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved.
Maintained by Jarom McDonald <email@example.com>
Last updated on April 8, 2003