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The Poet at The Evergreens

Emily, the Rascal

This house saw many a cozy evening with the poet, Austin, Sue, and their closest friends gathered in the library, enjoying each other’s company. In fact, one family friend, Kate Scott Anthon, recollected that on at least one occasion, “Emily, the rascal” stayed out so late into the night here that her father Edward was spotted through these french doors, “coming across the little path with his lantern, to fetch her home!”

Martha Dickinson Bianchi, “The Recollections of a Country Girl” (unpublished typescript, 236), Martha Dickinson Bianchi Papers, Brown University Library.

A Mysterious Photo

In 1906, Kate Turner, née Anthon, a mutual friend of both Susan and the poet, reminisced about, “The celestial evenings in the Library - The blazing wood fire - Emily - Austin, The music - The rampant fun - The inextinguishable laughter, The uproarious spirits of our chosen - our most congenial circle.” Kate is on the right in this photo, and it has been posited that the woman on the left may be Emily Dickinson herself! If true, this image would be only the second known photograph of the poet in existence. The photograph remains a fascinating object, affirming that Dickinson scholarship is ongoing and we have much left to discover about the elusive poet. Do you think this image could be Dickinson?

Kate Anthon to Susan Dickinson, Sep 6, 1906, in The Years and Hours of Emily Dickinson, ed. Jay Leyda (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960), 1:366–367.

Courtesy of Amherst College Archives & Special Collections

Two seated women in dresses. The one to the left (possibly Dickinson) is smiling slightly with her arm behind the other