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Women of the Hall

Year Honored: 1973
Birth: 1830 - Death: 1886
Born In: Massachusetts, United States of America
Died In: Massachusetts, United States of America
Achievements: Arts
Educated In: Massachusetts
Schools Attended: Amherst Academy, Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (Mount Holyoke College)
Worked In: Massachusetts

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Emily Dickinson

Her father, Edward Dickinson, was a pillar of the community in Amherst, Massachusetts. A prominent lawyer and treasurer of Amherst College, this rigorous and austere man exerted great influence over his middle child, Emily. She spent a year at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. There her stubborn resistance to conversion during a religious revival marked her as one who did not fear to tread a lonely path. Emily returned from Mount Holyoke to her father's house and remained there. Busy about the house and garden, she began to write verse. The narrow boundaries of "woman's sphere" were deadly limitations for many women. Somehow Emily Dickinson found within herself the imaginative resources to exceed and shatter such boundaries. Although untaught and virtually unpublished during her lifetime, she became one of the greatest poets in the English language. Sometimes Emily Dickinson sought encouragement and friendship -- from author and reformer Thomas Wentworth Higginson among others. But more and more she withdrew. Alone with her thoughts and her pen, she crafted poetry in experimental form that anticipated modern style. She knew what she had achieved: "I have a horror of death; the dead are so soon forgotten. But when I die, they'll have to remember me."
Additional Sources:

Doriani, Beth Maclay. Emily Dickinson daughter of prophecy. Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts press, c1996. NOTES: Includes bibliographical references (p. 205-224) and indexes. Electronic reproduction available at: http://www/

McNeil, Helen. Emily Dickinson New York: Pantheon Books, c1986. NOTES: ""Virago Pantheon pioneers"" series. Includes index. Bibliography: p. 595-605.

Edited by Thomas H. Johnson. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Little, Brown & Company, 1997, c1960.

Edited by: Ralph W. Franklin. The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson. Harvard University Press, 1981. 2 volumes.

edited by: Theadora Ward Johnson. The Letters of Emily Dickinson Harvard University Press, 1996, c1958.

Edited by: Martha Neil Smith and Ellen L. Hart. Open me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson. Ashfield, Massachusetts: Paris Press, 1998.

Papers 1844-ca. 1955, 27ft. Amherst College, Robert Frost Library, Archives and Special Collections. Amherst, Massachusetts. Papers ca. 1850-1911, ca. 500 items, 12 boxes, 40 packets. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library. Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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