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

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Registration is NOT required
Members Free and Non-members Free with admission ($10)

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

Julie Dobrow

Julie Dobrow reveals the untold story of the extraordinary mother and daughter who brought Emily Dickinson’s genius to light in After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America’s Greatest Poet. 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.

As the poems grew in popularity, 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."

Julie Dobrow explores the intrigue of Emily Dickinson’s literary beginnings, shedding 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.

Julie Dobrow is a professor with appointments in the Eliot-Pearson 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.

Expand your knowledge of poetry and make connections with other Athenæum members in the Poetry Study Group, which meets from 5:30 to 7 pm on the third Wednesday of each month.

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