Emily Dickinson

Facts, information and articles about Emily Dickinson, a Famous Woman In History

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Renowned and prolific poet

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Emily Dickinson summary: Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts on December 10th, 1830. She would remain in Amherst her entire life, spending her last few years reclusively, seeing only close family and a few friends. During this period, and before her seclusion, Dickinson wrote many poems, of which only two were published while she was living. Lavinia Dickinson, Emily’s sister, gathered Emily’s poems after her death and began having them published in various selections beginning in 1890. Dickinson’ work includes almost 1800 poems, along with many vibrantly written letters.

Dickinson, the middle child born to her lawyer father and homemaker mother, was well educated for a female for the time period. She had several years of formal schooling, and she spent one year at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which was the longest period she ever was away from home. Although she reportedly had several male suitors, Dickinson never married. During her late teens and early 20s, Dickinson endured the deaths of several friends and family members, an occurrence that would contribute to her seeming fascination with death, as displayed in her often poignant poetry.

Although she wrote her first poems while still in her teens, her 20s and 30s were the most prolific for her work. In 1855, her father bought the home in which Emily had been born, and she moved back there, where she would remain for the remainder of her life. Her brother and his wife bought the estate next door, and Dickinson enjoyed both the numerous social gatherings offered next door as well as her more private setting at home. She had a conservatory built inside her family home so that she could indulge in another favorite hobby, gardening, year round. During this time, she sent several poems to the Atlantic Monthly, but none were published there. Two poems were published by a newspaper, however. Dickinson shared her poems with her family and close friends, but none knew the extent of her collection until after her death in 1886.

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