The Dickinsons of Amherst

Overview

Jerome Liebling, one of our foremost documentary photographers, has created a remarkable photographic record of the domestic environment of Emily Dickinson. As a fellow resident of Amherst, Massachusetts, Liebling was naturally drawn to the Homestead, the house in which Dickinson lived and worked. But more remarkably, Liebling had the opportunity to document the opening of the Homestead's dark sister, the Evergreens — an Italianate villa built for Emily's brother, Austin, which until recently was still inhabited ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (27) from $5.49   
  • New (6) from $22.14   
  • Used (21) from $5.49   
Sending request ...

Overview

Jerome Liebling, one of our foremost documentary photographers, has created a remarkable photographic record of the domestic environment of Emily Dickinson. As a fellow resident of Amherst, Massachusetts, Liebling was naturally drawn to the Homestead, the house in which Dickinson lived and worked. But more remarkably, Liebling had the opportunity to document the opening of the Homestead's dark sister, the Evergreens — an Italianate villa built for Emily's brother, Austin, which until recently was still inhabited but which had been preserved almost as a time capsule of the era of Emily and Austin.

Though Dickinson lived as a recluse in the Homestead, she did not live in the utter isolation that has been popularly imagined. Her life was intimately bound up with the affairs of her friends and family, and the domestic situation at the Evergreens inevitably contributed to the environment in which she wrote her poems. Austin Dickinson's troubled marriage and his affair with Mabel Loomis Todd eventually gave rise to the bitter disputes over the disposition of property and the guardianship of Emily's poetic legacy that erupted after his death. In Liebling's evocative photographs, the stark austerity of the Homestead and the decaying opulence of the Evergreens offer new insights into the home life that shaped a poet.

Three of the foremost scholars of Dickinson's life and work have contributed essays that explore the history and legacy of these two dwellings. Polly Longsworth, who wrote the definitive account of Austin's affair with Mabel Loomis Todd and who is at work on a major new biography of the poet, reveals some of the information her researches have brought to light — including a new recognition that Dickinson's anxiety problems were a real and integral condition of her existence, an understanding that demystifies some of the more enigmatic aspects of her life, including her refusal to publish. Barton Levi St. Armand, meanwhile, shares the remarkable and previously untold inside story of Mary Hampson, the last resident of the Evergreens, and of the lives connected with the house over the last century; it was through the efforts of Hampson — the heir of Austin's daughter — that the Evergreens was saved from destruction and is now (like the Homestead) open to the public. Finally, Christopher Benfey offers an insightful appreciation of Liebling's photographs and the light they shed on Dickinson and her work; he teases out surprising but convincing affinities between the poems and the art of photography.

The heart of this book is the one hundred plus photographs through which Jerome Liebling expands our understanding of Emily Dickinson's world and life. "You might say that the three essays are extended captions," says Benfey in his introduction, "taking their prompting and provocation from the images."

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“. . . When she died, she [Emily Dickinson] left a drawer crammed with hundreds of poems that engage the shimmer between the living and dead—as this book does. Unreachable through either words or pictures alone, the effect of this multidimensional book is to break your heart.”—Atlantic Monthly

“Mr. Liebling’s evocative photographs . . . effectively capture the spirit of the two houses. They focus on poignant images like a light-struck glass knob at the Homestead, which casts ghostly reflections on a white door; worn stone steps in Emily’s garden; her plain white dress, preserved in a glass case; a nest of scuffed children’s shoes stored at the Evergreens; and the long march of picket fence along Main Street—now gone—that once united the two homes.”—New York Times, (Weekend Excursion)

“The beautiful photographs and insightful essays in The Dickinsons of Amherst offer fresh retellings of [the Dickinson story] . . . The essays, Liebling’s photographs and older photos from the heyday of the Dickinsons in Amherst interact beautifully . . . [the book] illuminates the poet and her work in incandescent ways.”—Chicago Tribune

“Visitors to either house who peruse the book will marvel at [Liebling’s] artistry, at the way he can home in on a detail and make it stand for something larger, just as Dickinson did in her spare verses.”—Boston Globe, “Life at Home” section

Publishers Weekly
Emily Dickinson's famous reclusivemess essentially meant that family property marked the boundaries of her world. The Dickinsons of Amherst takes as one of its subjects the relationship between the poet's domestic space the Homestead, where she lived, and the Evergreens, which was built for her brother and her interior creative life. Documentary photographer and Amherst resident Jerome Liebling's hauntingly beautiful photographs (138 in color) of gates, bedrooms, family portraits and Dickinson's ghostly white dress are complemented by essays by three prominent Dickinson scholars, including one by Christopher Benfey (Emily Dickinson: Lives of a Poet) that allies the art of the photographer to the art of the poet. (Nov. 8) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584650683
  • Publisher: University Press of New England
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 1,423,935
  • Product dimensions: 11.29 (w) x 11.37 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

JEROME LIEBLING's photographs have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Getty Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and many other museums and galleries in the U.S. as well as England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Japan. His work is in permanent collections of major museums throughout the world. He is a recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and has had many monographs of his work published.

CHRISTOPHER BENFEY teaches in the English Department at Mount Holyoke College. He is author of Emily Dickinson: Lives of a Poet (1986) and Emily Dickinson and the Problem of Others (1984). POLLY LONGSWORTH is author of The World of Emily Dickinson (1990) and Austin and Mabel: The Amherst Affair & Love Letters of Austin Dickinson and Mabel Loomis Todd (1984). She is currently at work on a new biography of Dickinson. BARTON LEVI ST. ARMAND teaches in the English Department at Brown University. He is author of Emily Dickinson and Her Culture: The Soul's Society (1984).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Lost World Brought to Light 1
The "Latitude of Home": Life in the Homestead and the Evergreens 15
Keeper of the Keys: Mary Hampson, the Evergreens, and the Art Within 107
"Best Grief Is Tongueless": Jerome Liebling's Spirit Photographs 169
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)