Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 10, 1830: Birthday of Emily Dickinson; recorded in doctor's journal

Emily Dickinson was born on this date in 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Below, the entry from the records (Special Collections of Jones Library, Amherst) of local doctor Isaac G. Cutler, who delivered her.

On the same page is the entry for Emily's future friend Helen Fiske, who, as Helen Hunt Jackson, earned a name as an author and an activist for Native American rights. Fiske's entry is is fourth from the top of the right-hand page, and Emily Dickinson's, tenth from the bottom.

Last year's entry describes the 180th birthday celebrations at the Emily Dickinson Museum, as well as the "baby book" and the relations between Emily Dickinson, her sister-in-law Susan Gilbert Dickinson (who shares a December birthday), and Helen Hunt Jackson.

This year, the annual celebration of the poet's birth, sponsored by the Emily Dickinson Museum, features a lecture—"Emily Dickinson - Outlaw"—by Jerome Charyn, author of the recent fictional account The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson.  The book has a popular Facebook page.

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