Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds

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Little, Brown Book Group, Feb 4, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages

Emily Dickinson is regarded as one of the greatest poets of all time, but she has come to us as an odd and helpless woman living a life of self imposed seclusion. Lyndall Gordon sees instead a volcanic character living on her own terms and with a steely confidence in her own talent; a woman whose family feuded over a hothouse of adultery and devastating betrayal and a woman who had her own secret. After her death the fight for possession of Emily and her poetry became the feud's focus.

'Lives Like Loaded Guns has cracked one of poetry's most enduring enigmas . . . It rescues Dickinson from the image of the passive, heart-broken recluse. It is a worthy monument to a poet even more extraordinary than we realised' Olivia Cole, Financial Times

From the acclaimed biographer of Mary Wollstonecraft, T.S. Eliot, Charlotte Bronte, Virginia Woolf and Henry James.

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I knew next to nothing about Emily Dickinson, when I came across this fascinating-looking work in a charity shop! An extremely erudite and well-researched account (the author is a Senior Research ... Read full review

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User Review  - hereandthere - LibraryThing

This is a great, great book. I suggest stopping what you are doing now and reading it instead. I had not the slightest interest in Emily Dickinson until a few years ago, around the age of 50, or ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Lyndall Gordon is the prizewinning author of biographies including CHARLOTTE BRONTE, VIRGINIA WOOLF, SHARED LIVES and MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT. Born and raised in South Africa, Lyndall is a fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford.

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