A study in the sexuality of Emily Dickinson, The spider and the flower : manifest homosexuality and its significance to critical comprehension of the poetry and the poet

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dorothy Lynn Lochridge (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Arthur Dixon

Abstract: In Ancestors' Brocades. Millicent Todd Bingham suggested that Emily Dickinson's supposed love affair with a married man was simply a product of the poet's imagination. In Bolts of Melody she remarked that poems describing a love relationship between two women, some of them in terms of sex and marriage, were "frankly autobiographical." In The Riddle of Emily Dickinson. Rebecca Patterson advocated Kate Scott Turner (Anthon) as the "too-much-loved woman friend" (Bingham's phrase), and in fact as the inspiration for all of Emily Dickinson's love poetry. It is the purpose of this thesis to support Mrs. Patterson's opinions—that Emily Dickinson was homosexual and that Mrs. Turner was the major object of her emotions—and in doing so, to work toward critical comprehension of the poetry and the poet. Throughout Emily Dickinson's publishing history there are evidences of attitudes on the part of her family, her editors, and her critics, all of which may be explained by the theory that the poet was homosexual. This theory is substantiated when one examines the letters and poems. Lack of adequate emotional relationship with both parents in her early childhood placed the poet in an essentially bisexual position that seems to have resolved itself into homosexual inclinations from her youth into the late years when her love began to turn toward Judge Otis Lord: developing emotional patterns may be traced through the letters to Abiah Root, Susan Gilbert (Dickinson) and Kate Scott Turner (Anthon), through the short, cryptic notes of the poet's later years, and finally in the correspondence with Judge Lord.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1970
Dickinson, Emily, $d 1830-1886 $x Criticism and interpretation
Dickinson, Emily, $d 1830-1886 $x Relations with women
Dickinson, Emily, $d 1830-1886 $x Symbolism

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