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H L3

JL 194

OMC 29

26 September 1858

ink, one sheet, four pages

watermark/embossment: V, bond paper

21 x 13 cm.

multiply folded

LL 28-29, in part. "Church" or "Chuck" written atop first leaf. Handwriting looks like that of the first "Master" letter (ML 13-19).

By this time, Austin and Sue had been married two years and were living next door to Edward, Emily the mother, Lavinia, and daughter Emily. Edward Dickinson has built the Evergreens for the young couple on property adjacent to the Homestead. Johnson recounts that "late in September Susan Dickinson went to visit her sister Martha Smith at Geneva, New York. The visit in Amherst of the Joseph Sweetser family, anticipated earlier, occurred in September, and the Dickinson reunion was augmented by the coming of the Reverend and Mrs. Asa Bullard from Cambridge. ED's dog Carlo (breed unknown), is first mentioned" in a spoof of a valentine letter (L 34) published in an Amherst College student publication edited by friends of brother Austin (The Indicator II, 7 [February 1850]); this comment introduces the letter: "I wish I knew who the author is. I think she must have some spell, by which she quickens the imagination, and causes the high blood `run frolic through the veins.'" Of literary and biblical allusions, Johnson notes, "Captain William Dobbin is the faithful friend of Amelia Sedley in Vanity Fair. The allusion in the third paragraph from the end is to Revelation 7.11: `And all the angels...fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.'"

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Image reproduced by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University. Not to be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.
Transcription and commentary copyright 1996 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Last updated on June 4, 2001
Maintained by Lara Vetter