Critical Companion to Emily Dickinson: A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work

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Though virtually unknown in her lifetime, Emily Dickinson is today one of the most widely read and studied American poets. Critical Companion to Emily Dickinson contains extensive analyses and close readings of more than 150 of her best-known poems, including "Because I could not stop for Death," "I felt a funeral, in my Brain," and "I like to see it lap the miles." This encyclopedic guide also discusses the many societal, intellectual, spiritual, and literary influences revealed in Dickinson's poems. Coverage includes: A comprehensive biography of Dickinson, Accessible entries on her most beloved, studied, and anthologized poems, Entries on people important to Dickinson, including friends, relatives, correspondents, and editors, Entries on topics important to the understanding of Dickinson's work, including analyses of her peculiar use of dashes and capital letters, A foreword by noted poet and Dickinson scholar Gregory Orr, A chronology of Dickinson's life and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources.

Famous for her reclusive nature, Dickinson rarely left her home in Amherst, Massachusetts, but today she is considered one of America's most influential poets. This single-volume reference will guide readers through her fascinating life and work, which continues to intrigue students, critics, and poetry lovers of all ages.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Leiter's (literature, Univ. of Virginia; Akhamatova's Petersburg) reference work on the much-beloved and much-studied poet Emily Dickinson (1830-86) is part of a 12-title, 14-volume set. It opens with a foreword by poet and Dickinson scholar Gregory Orr and includes an introduction; an approximately 20-page biography of Dickinson; explications of 150 of her best-known poems (e.g., "Because I Could Not Stop for Death"); an A-to-Z dictionary of relevant persons, places, and ideas illustrated with black-and-white photos; a chronology; bibliographies; and a comprehensive index. The biography is detailed enough for a general understanding of its subject but not exhaustive. The poetry explications constitute what will likely be the most used section, with approximately one page dedicated to each poem, plus suggestions for further reading. The hundreds of dictionary entries will be helpful in answering questions about Dickinson's milieu and also serve to round out the biography.
—Denise Johnson

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816054480
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Series: Critical Companion Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword     v
Introduction     ix
Biography     1
Poems A-Z     23
Related Persons, Places, and Ideas     239
Appendices     407
Chronology     409
Bibliography of Dickinson's Works     417
Bibliography of Secondary Sources, with Partial Annotation     420
Index     433
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