Emily Dickinson left an enduring literary legacy—nearly 2,000 poems—yet she was so intensely private that her life is sometimes seen as one of solitary devotion to the muse. The portraits, engravings, maps, and other illustrations in The World of Emily Dickinson attest to a much broader life than is commonly thought. Polly Longsworth's graceful introductory essay portrays a young woman of unusual intelligence and wit meeting the world on her own terms, engaging with people, ideas, natural phenomena, and her nineteenth-century culture, while choosing to keep her distance from the public eye. The pictures and captions build on that essay, exploring Dickinson's immediate surroundings, the Dickinson family's active and influential public life, as well as close friends and relatives, the growing town of Amherst, and the intellectual life of the time.
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