Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The steamy side of Emily Dickinson

The steamy side? The woman hardly ever left the house! But get this: "Several times a week, during the last two years of Emily Dickinson's life, a weird and symbolic drama would play itself out in the old Dickinson family house, the Homestead. At 2:30 in the afternoon, the poet's brother, Austin—a married father of three, a pillar of Amherst society, and the treasurer of Amherst College—would leave his house next door, ostensibly to pay a call on Emily and his other sister, Lavinia. In fact, he came to meet Mabel Loomis Todd, the seductive young wife of the Amherst College astronomer David Todd." Mabel and Austin were going at it hot and heavy downstairs while Emily was upstairs—and guess who ended up publishing Emily's poetry. Yep. Mabel. It's quite a story, outlined in a review on Slate. I didn't know any of this!

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