By Lyndall Gordon
"Lives Like Loaded Guns...reads like a superb detective story...[Gordon] takes us into undiscovered territory." --The Washington Post , a nice better half to lovers of the film A Quiet Passion, starring Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson.
In 1882, Emily Dickinson's brother, Austin, begun an adulterous love affair with the comprehensive and ravishing Mabel Todd, atmosphere in movement a chain of occasions that may perpetually switch the lives of the Dickinson relatives. Award-winning biographer Lyndall Gordon tells the tale of the feud that erupted-and that also maintains this day. Making exceptional use of letters, diaries, and felony files, Gordon proposes a groundbreaking new method to the key at the back of the poet's insistent seclusion, proposing a girl past her time who came across love, spirituality, and immortality all on her personal phrases.
the 1st significant biography of Dickinson in approximately ten years, Lives Like Loaded Guns is a hugely acclaimed tale of artistic genius, illicit ardour, and betrayal that would without end swap the way in which we view one in every of America's most crucial literary figures.
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Additional info for Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds
Following the wallpaper incident, Susan and her son sank into poor health in the course of that winter. There was no paving on the Dickinsons’ side of Main Street. Townsfolk had to walk farther off on the other side of the road. A hemlock hedge, planted in the sixties, linked the two houses and protected their privacy. Behind the hedge, and invisible to curious eyes, was a home-trod path between The Evergreens and Austin’s sisters next door in ‘the paternal mansion’. Cross this path and enter the Homestead, an older house built of brown brick in the handsome Federal style.
The deeper cause of the fissure in the family lies in their past. II: ‘A STILL—VOLCANO—LIFE’ 1 THE FIRST FAMILY In the mid-nineteenth century Amherst held out against the metropolitan tolerance of Boston. As Amherst’s first family, the Dickinsons were true to the Puritan rigour of provincial New England. Her father’s heart was ‘pure and terrible’, his daughter Emily said. ‘I do not expect or wish for a life of pleasure’, Edward Dickinson told his wife-to-be before their marriage. He was never seen to smile.
4 Yet what remains odd is the poet’s care to fit the effaced model of womanhood that shaped her mother’s generation of the 1820s, in so far as 1830 (the year of Emily Dickinson’s birth) is said to mark the end of an era of domestic retirement for New England women. To go through the Revd Mr Bennett’s rulebook is to see how ironically the poet fitted herself, point for point, with all the extravagance and precision of her character. The minister directs girls’ attention to volcanoes to awaken a sense of awe.