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After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet
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Julie Dobrow
After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet by Julie Dobrow at Abbey's Bookshop,

After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet

Julie Dobrow



Biography: general;
Biography: literary;
Gender studies: women


384 pages

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The untold story of the extraordinary mother and daughter who brought Emily Dickinson’s genius to light.

Despite Emily Dickinson’s world renown, the story of the two women most responsible for her initial posthumous publication - Mabel Loomis Todd and her daughter, Millicent Todd Bingham - has remained in the shadows of the archives. A rich and compelling portrait of women who refused to be confined by the social mores of their era, After Emily explores Mabel and Millicent’s complex bond, as well as the powerful literary legacy they shared.

Mabel’s tangled relationships with the Dickinsons - including a thirteen-year extramarital relationship with Emily’s brother, Austin - roiled the small town of Amherst, Massachusetts. After Emily’s death, Mabel’s connection to the family and reputation as an intelligent, artistic, and industrious woman in her own right led her to the enormous trove of poems Emily left behind. So began the herculean task of transcribing, editing, and promoting Emily’s work, a task that would consume and complicate the lives of both Mabel and her daughter. As the popularity of the poems grew, legal issues arose between the Dickinson and Todd families, dredging up their scandals: the affair, the ownership of Emily’s poetry, and the right to define the so-called "Belle of Amherst."

Utilizing hundreds of overlooked letters and diaries to weave together the stories of three unstoppable women, Julie Dobrow explores the intrigue of Emily Dickinson’s literary beginnings. After Emily sheds light on the importance of the earliest editions of Emily’s work - including the controversial editorial decisions made to introduce her singular genius to the world - and reveals the surprising impact Mabel and Millicent had on the poet we know today.

51 illustrations; 1 map

By:   Julie Dobrow
Imprint:   Norton
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 244mm,  Width: 168mm,  Spine: 38mm
Weight:   780g
ISBN:   9780393249262
ISBN 10:   0393249263
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   October 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Julie Dobrow is a professor with appointments in the department of Child Study and Human Development and the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University and serves as director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Her writing has appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine and the Huffington Post, among other publications. She lives outside of Boston.

Julie Dobrow has grabbed a tiger by the tail in her skillful reanalysis of Mabel Loomis Todd's role in recognizing, preserving, publishing, and promoting Emily Dickinson's powerful poetry...Dobrow weaves the vitality of the personal into her scholarship, surprising and enlightening readers about one of America's greatest literary rescues.--Polly Longsworth, author of Austin and Mabel The entire nuanced and complicated story of Mabel Loomis Todd, Millicent Todd Bingham, and Emily Dickinson is ours at last in this diligently sourced and compellingly written history.--Marianne Curling, Curator of the Amherst Historical Society Dobrow authoritatively traces the tortuous editorial and publication process that first brought Dickinson's work to public attention, and sensitively explores her subjects' interior lives... Impeccably researched...Dobrow's narrative gives a fascinating glimpse into the lives of two tireless advocates for Dickinson's work. Dobrow's skillful account of Mabel's and Millicent's lives makes this page-turner a must-read for the poet's most ardent fans. [Dobrow] recount[s], with sympathy and nuance, Todd's near obsession with editing Dickinson... [A] fresh, remarkable account.

  • Long-listed for PEN/Bograd Weld Award for Biography 2019
  • Long-listed for Plutarch Award 2019
  • Short-listed for New England Society Book Award 2019
  • Short-listed for Plutarch Award 2019
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