Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)

Poet. Dickinson led an intensely private life that has become the stuff of literary legend. Born to a well-to-do family in Amherst, Massachusetts, Dickinson grew up among books and lively conversation, and—except for less than a year at the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary—she resided in the family home near Amherst College all her life. Over time, Dickinson become more and more reclusive, dressing mainly in white, seeing few visitors outside the family, and working on her poems—nearly eighteen hundred in all, only a handful of which were published during her lifetime. After Dickinson’s death, her sister discovered among the poet’s papers forty booklets of poems bound with string and unbound copies of almost four hundred poems.