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Library JournalFor readers who wish Carlene Bauer’s Frances and Bernard was more real than imagined, suggest Wineapple’s insightful and accessible nonfiction account of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a leading man of letters and an abolitionist who supported women’s rights. Using Dickinson’s letters to Higginson, the poems she enclosed, and the few extant letters that he wrote to her, Wineapple challenges the image of Dickinson as a slight figure withdrawn in isolation, painting her as far more forceful. Upon meeting the poet in person, Higginson wrote to his wife that he had never met anyone who drained him so—a wonderfully telling statement from a man who was deeply embroiled in the political uprisings of his day. This richly textured work, character focused and graceful in style, offers a revealing portrait of Dickinson and her flinty and penetrating poems, as well as the man who was perhaps her most important correspondent.
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