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Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XIV: return to Cambridge (search)
kinson died. Her acquaintance with Colonel Higginson began in 1862, when she wrote to him enclosing some poems and asking his opinion of her verse. While he was in camp in South Carolina she wrote again to ask if he would be her preceptor. Henceforth her letters, in extraordinary script, were signed your scholar. One summer he made his unseen correspondent a long-delayed visit which he has described in the volume called Carlyle's Laugh. He wrote in his diary after her death:— To Amherst to the funeral of that rare and strange creature Emily Dickinson. .. . E. D.'s face a wondrous restoration of youth—she is 54 and looked 30, not a gray hair or wrinkle, and perfect peace on the beautiful brow. There was a little bunch of violets at the neck and one pink cypripedium; the sister, Vinnie, put in two heliotropes by her hand to take to Judge Lord [an old family friend]. I read a poem by Emily Bronte. How large a portion of the people who have most interested me have passed awa
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XVI: the crowning years (search)
XVI: the crowning years In 1889, Colonel Higginson began what proved to be a four years task of editing, with Mrs. Mabel Loomis Todd of Amherst, Emily Dickinson's poems and letters. Of this work he wrote Mrs. Todd:— I can't tell you how much I am enjoying the poems. There are many new to me which take my breath away. A year later he wrote to her:— You are the only person who can feel as I do about this extraordinary thing we have done in recording this rare genius. I feel as if we had climbed to a cloud, pulled it away, and revealed a new star behind it . . . . Such things as I find in her letters! The Madonnas I see are those that pass the House to their work, carrying Saviours with them. Is not that one of the take-your-breath-away thoughts? There is much that I never could print, as where she writes, Of our greatest acts we are ignorant. You were not aware that you saved my life. What a unique existence was hers! Four years later, he wrote:— I <