Public and private spaces at the center of domestic life and labor
Themes in The Evergreens Dining Room and Kitchen
By the time The Evergreens was built, the Dickinson families relied on the paid labor of people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds who performed both house and farm work.
The Evergreens dining room and kitchen illustrate how Austin and Susan Dickinson put their best foot forward with society foremost in mind.
POET AS COOK
Both Susan and Emily Dickinson took pride in preparing food for others, the latter once reflecting, “People must have puddings” (L342a). Emily Dickinson was better known in her lifetime for her baking than for her poetry. Manuscripts written on kitchen paper scraps illustrate how the poet’s process was materially ingrained in the home and her everyday activities there.