SSSHHH, I'M READING...Julie Dobrow's After Emily

With what I hope will be a long cessation of my various eye woes in progress, I'm catching up on reading beyond that required for work projects. I'm absorbed in Julie Dobrow's After Emily: The Untold Tale of the Women Who Introduced Emily Dickinson to the World this week and relishing every word. Though it's insightful about the fabled poet, Dobrow's book focuses on two other, equally complex women. Mabel Loomis Todd, who prepared the first volume of Dickinson's poems for publication after Emily's death, made editorial changes that spark wrath in readers to this day but promoted the poet's work shrewdly and with great energy. Her daughter Millicent Todd Bingham subsequently carried on her mother's work with the poet's poems and papers, not without ambivalence and anguish. Fierce, intelligent, educated and often unconventional, both would be fascinating figures in and of themselves even if their work on Dickinson's legacy didn't raise so many provocative questions.  Highly recommended for readers intrigued by Dickinson, indefatigable women, literature and the construction of literary legacies. First published by W.W. Norton in 2018, the book is available through Amazon.com and Bookshop.org


Mabel Loomis Todd and Millicent Todd Bingham.
Todd-Bingham Picture Collection (MS 496E),
Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library