The Master Letters of Emily Dickinson

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 48 pages
3 Reviews
Written between 1858 and 1861, these three letters were addressed by Emily Dickinson to a man she called "Master". Although there is no evidence that they were ever mailed, the letters suggest an extended relationship, separated by geography, and the possibility of a much larger correspondence, as yet undiscovered.

According to R. W. Franklin, the three letters stand near the heart of Dickinson's mystery. This volume presents them in chronological order, based upon new dating of the manuscripts, and provides transcriptions that show stages in the composition of each letter. Franklin's introduction places the letters in historical perspective and closely analyzes relevant aspects of the poet's handwriting.

Included with the volume are full-sized facsimiles of the letters, which allow the reader to hold them individually in hand and read them apart from the scholarly apparatus -- the closest possible approach imaginable short of examining the originals in the Amherst College Library.


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Review: Master Letters of Emily Dickinson

User Review  - Kasey Jueds - Goodreads

How could anyone give this any less than 5 stars? Though I guess some people have. And stars seem not quite right, anyway, as a rating system. Maybe galaxies? Read full review

Review: Master Letters of Emily Dickinson

User Review  - Valerie - Goodreads

I know this was a series of letters but I think it should count as poetry. The writing is gorgeous and the way they typed up the letters line by line made it look like a poem on the page. The only ... Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4

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About the author (1998)

Known as "The Myth of Amherst" for her withdrawal from society while still a young women, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) had an inner life that was deeply emotional and intense. She know rapture and despair, pondered the wonder of God and the meaning of death. She broke tradition and was criticized for her seminal experiments with unorthodox phrasing, rhyme and broken meter, within concise verse forms, thus becoming an innovator and forerunner of modern poets.

R. W. Franklin was Director of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. He is the recipient of the Emily Dickinson International Society's Award for Outstanding Contribution.

Bibliographic information