Emily Dickinson's Correspondences
Correspondence with Susan Dickinson

Photostat H B2

JL 757, manuscript now missing

OMC 229


watermark/embossment: N, no symbol

LL 64; FF 176 (facsimile reproduction, showing how it is torn across bottom of leaf; folds indicate this is not a mutilation but is how Dickinson made sheets from larger leaves, as she did for most of these writings to Susan). Johnson's notes about this letter-poem urge interpretation bolstering Todd-Bingham legends: "The strain between the two houses about this time had perhaps a temporary fission. Mrs. Bingham quotes a conversation between her mother Mrs. Todd and Susan Dickinson that took place in the fall of 1881, when the Todds first arrived in Amherst. Lavinia had asked Mrs. Todd to call. 'Sue said at that, "You will not allow your husband to go there, I hope!. . .I went in there one day, and in the drawing room I found Emily reclining in the arms of a man."' (Revelation 59). It is probable that Sue's resentment concerning the attachment of Emily to Judge Lord was made clear to Emily, and may account for this note of 'strange praise.'" There is no evidence to support this interpretation, yet Johnson's note is another example of gossip being recirculated as fact (see Rowing in Eden 145-148).

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Transcription and commentary copyright 1996 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Last updated on April 11, 2001
Maintained by Tanya Clement <tclement@umd.edu>