IMAGINING EMILY DICKINSON’S       DESKS, 1870-1886
According to the writer‘s niece,Martha Dickinson Bianchi,                 .Dickinson‘s ―only writing desk [was]...a table,...
Although the cherry and pine writing desk to which Bianchi refers is a unique       piece currently housed in the Dickinso...
This image of Dickinson‘s desk is so familiar to her readers, so imprinted onour imaginations, that we think of it not as ...
Just past the image of the pristine writing desk another, more unruly image is forming. I see the desk laden with volumes,...
I s e e i t c o ve r e d w i t h r o w s o f b o t a n i c a l s p e c i m e n s : Ja s m i n u s, C a l e n d u l aO f f ...
And beyond it, I see the room that gives the desk space, filling with papers…         MSS drawn at random from the Amherst...
There are stacks of them on the table,on the floor, on the bed…She moves them.Others living in the household andcoming fro...
I see, of course, only what I see in the mind‘s eye.For like Bianchi, like everyone, I have arrived too late: I do not cat...
There is so much more I ―cannot see to see -‖ (JP 371; FP 340)           The cupola Edward Dickinson added atop the Homest...
Just as I do not see the room as it appeared while Dickinson lived within it, I  do not see it in the days and months foll...
Was there, as the story                                                      And if there was onlygoes, only a single lock...
In A Revelation, Bingham repeats Mabel Loomis Todd‘s claim that the ―Lord letters‖    were given to her mother by Austin D...
A 761: The envelope allegedly containing the ―Lord Letters.‖ Amherst College Library,                          Archives & ...
Was one box actually many boxes?After all the manuscripts have beencarried away from Dickinson‘sroom, questions whirl in t...
Or rather, what I see is always a facsimile.                            The desk is a facsimile. And the manuscripts upon ...
FORECLOSE                                   Forms: ME–15 forclose, 15 Sc. foirclois, 15– foreclose.Etymology: < forclos-, ...
Perhaps our imagination of the desk cleared of its contents isthe right one after all.There is nothing there. And there is...
Emily Dickinson‘s (?) writing board, 16 x 19‖, painted white on one side, curved, with rollers thatappear to fit over the ...
The stark simplicity of the object—its obvious uses for writing late at night or when ill in bed—along with the uncertaint...
Emily Dickinson‘s writing board?              MS A 251, c. 1876,Amherst College Archives & Special Collections   ―In many ...
In many and reportless places       Nature        Deity          Joy –       Dissolves     abates     Exhales       Sumptu...
NOTESSLIDE 1: The images on the opening slide include a reproduction of Dickinson‘s writing desk (left)now housed at the D...
NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 2:Left: The passage from Martha Dickinson Bianchi‘s Face to Face: Unpublished Letters with Notes and...
NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 5:Left: A digital scan of Emily Dickinson‘s bible: The Holy Bible, containing the Old and NewTestame...
NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 6:Random facsimile pages from Emily Dickinson‘s herbarium, c. 1839-1846 (MS Am. 1118.11).Reproduced ...
NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 8:Right: The image is from Jen Bervin‘s The Composite Marks of Fascicle 28. Cotton and silk thread o...
NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 13:The quoted passage is from Millicent Todd Bingham, Emily Dickinson: A Revelation (New York:Harper...
NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 15:Right: An image of the original writing table used by Emily Dickinson. Cherry, pine (secondarywoo...
NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 19:Center: A digital surrogate of a writing board, 16 x 19‖, painted white on one side, curved, with...
FIN
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  • The images on this page include a reproduction of Dickinson’s writing desk (left) now housed at the Dickinson Museum; a facsimile of a late fragment (A 821) beginning “Clogged only with Music, like the Wheels of | Birds -” (right); a lap-desk (center) that may have been Emily Dickinson’s and is now in the Amherst College Library Archives &amp; Special Collections; a facsimile (MS Am. 1118.5 [B 44]) of Dickinson’s signature (on lap-desk, left); a facsimile page (MS Am. 1118.11) from Dickinson’s herbarium, c. 1839-1846 (on lap-desk, right); and a facsimile of a draft of a letter (A 757) from Dickinson to Otis Lord beginning ”Tuesday is a deeply depressed day” (lap-desk, partially covered). A digital scan of Dickinson’s herbarium is available on the Houghton Library’s webpage: see http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/collections/modern/dickinson.cfm#web.MSS A 821, A 757, and the image of the lap-desk are reproduced with permission of the Amherst College Library, Archives &amp; Special Collections; the image of the reproduction of Dickinson’s desk is reproduced with permission of the Dickinson Museum; and MS Am 1118.5 (B 44) and MS Am. 1118.11 are reproduced with permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University &amp; the Harvard University Press.
  • Left: This passage from Martha Dickinson Bianchi’s Face to Face: Unpublished Letters with Notes and Reminiscences by Her Niece(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1932) is quoted on the Amherst College Library’s website: https://www.amherst.edu/aboutamherst/magazine/officespace/emilydickinson.Right: One of the many reproductions of Dickinson’s writing table. The original desk is made from cherry and pine (secondary wood), with brass finishings; it was made by an unknown carpenter, c. 1830. This reproduction currently stands in the Dickinson Homestead. It is reproduced here with permission of the Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, MA.
  • Andy Warhol meets Emily Dickinson: repeated images of the reproduction copy of Emily Dickinson’s writing desk currently housed in the Dickinson Museum.
  • Left: A digital scan of Emily Dickinson’s bible: The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments: translated out of the original tongues. Philadelphia: J. P. Lippincott &amp; Co., MDCCCXLIII. The bible was presented to Dickinson by her father, Edward Dickinson, in 1844. The original volume is currently housed at the Houghton Library, Harvard University. The image, which appears on a blog associated with the Houghton’s website, http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/houghtonmodern/2011/06/13/emily-dickinsons-not-so-sacred-book/, is reproduced by permission of the Houghton Library. Right (on writing desk): Images (superimposed) of random 19th-century books piled on Dickinson’s desk.Right (on floor): An image (superimposed) of several titles Dickinson was known to have has in her personal library. The image appears on the Emily Dickinson Museum website, http://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/reading, and is reproduced with the Museum’s permission.
  • Random facsimile pages from Emily Dickinson’s herbarium, c. 1839-1846 (MS Am. 1118.11). Reproduced by permission of the Houghton College Library, Harvard University. For a complete digital surrogate of the herbarium, see http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/collections/modern/dickinson.cfm#web, the portal to many digital images from the Houghton’s extensive Emily Dickinson Collection.
  • The digital facsimiles reproduced here are drawn from the Amherst College Library, Archives &amp; Special Collections, and reproduced with the Library’s permission: top center: a recipe, in Dickinson’s hand, for doughnuts (A 889); right (inner): A Western Union Telegraph blank inscribed with poem-drafts (A 193-194); right (outer): a fragment of writing from a draft beginning, “a similar Mirage of thought” (A 867a); bottom center: a fragment of a fair-copy draft beginning, “The withdrawal of the Fuel of Rapture” (A 750); left (inner), a postal wrapper inscribed with a rough-copy draft beginning, “Pompless no Life can pass away” (A 332); and left (outer): a fragment of a rough-copy draft beginning, “As there are Apartments in our own Minds” (A 842).
  • The image is from Jen Bervin’sThe Composite Marks of Fascicle 28. Cotton and silk thread on cotton batting, 6 ft h x 8 ft w. Reproduced by permission of the artist.
  • Center: The cupola Edward Dickinson added atop the Homestead. Courtesy of the Dickinson Museum. Photographer: Frank Ward.
  • Center:Joseph Cornell’s “Toward the Blue Peninsula” (For Emily Dickinson, c. 1953). The image appears in numerous places on the web. This digital image was copied from the following source: http://www.mdmfineart.co.uk/?p=1187, December 2012.
  • Millicent Todd Bingham, Emily Dickinson: A Revelation. New York: Harper &amp; Bros., 1954. Page 1.
  • A 761: This envelope is housed in the Amherst College Library, Archives &amp; Special Collections and is reproduced with the Library’s permission. Mabel Loomis Todd labeled the envelope “Rough drafts of Emily’s letters.” Additional faint notes in pencil appear to read: “[Mother?] [Millicent?] says she loved various [men].” The words in brackets are illegible. If the initial word is indeed “Mother,” it would appear to be Millicent Todd Bingham’s note about information she received from Mabel Loomis Todd; if it is “Millicent,” it is almost certainly Jay Leyda&apos;s note.
  • Right: An image of the original writing table used by Emily Dickinson. Cherry, pine (secondary wood), brass; maker unknown, ca. 1830. The desk is currently housed in the Dickinson Room of the Houghton Library, Harvard University. This image is reproduced on the Houghton Library’s website: http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/collections/modern/dickinson.cfm.
  • See Meg Roland, “Facsimile Editions: Gesture and Projection,” Textual Cultures: Texts, Contexts, Interpretation 6.2 (2011): 49.
  • This entry is from the OED.
  • Center: A digital surrogate of a writing board, 16 x 19”, painted white on one side, curved, with rollers that appear to fit over the knees. According to Margaret Dakin, Amherst College Library, Archives &amp; Special Collections, the board was found, among other family effects, in the attic of the Dickinson Homestead, by the Parke family, who bought the property from Martha Bianchi. Mrs. Parke donated the board to the Grace Church’s Saint Nicholas Bazaar in the 1950s (possibly in 1956), where it was purchased by Margaret Roberta Grahame, mother of Roberta M. Grahame, a former tour guide at the Homestead. Although questions regarding provenance cannot be answered definitively, Mrs. Parke told Margaret Grahame that is was Emily Dickinson’s writing board. The writing on the back of the board, Dakin notes, is Roberta’s: she liked, writes Dakin, “to document things in a hands-on sort of way” (private email correspondence, November 26, 2012).
  • Scattered words and phrases from Dickinson’s late draft, “In many and reportless | places” (A 251), superimposed on the image of the writing board.
  • dickinson's desk

    1. 1. IMAGINING EMILY DICKINSON’S DESKS, 1870-1886
    2. 2. According to the writer‘s niece,Martha Dickinson Bianchi, .Dickinson‘s ―only writing desk [was]...a table, 18-inches square, with adrawer deep enough to take in her inkbottle, paper and pen…[and] placed inthe corner by the window facingwest." View of Emily Dickinson‘s room, Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, Mass.
    3. 3. Although the cherry and pine writing desk to which Bianchi refers is a unique piece currently housed in the Dickinson Room at the HoughtonLibrary, reproductions of the desk—in wood and in pixels—abound. A simpleGoogle search for images of Dickinson‘s desk on the World Wide Web yieldsnumerous shots of it—or of its doppelgängers—at varying distances and cameraangles. Often, it is bathed in lamplight or sunlight, with a single fascicle on an otherwise pristine and vacant surface…
    4. 4. This image of Dickinson‘s desk is so familiar to her readers, so imprinted onour imaginations, that we think of it not as an image at all, but as a memory,justly ours.The desk, however, is a supreme fiction.The instant we begin to picture it, we realize it could not have beenDickinson‘s writing desk—at least not her only desk. How could the delicatetable have withstood the weight of her books? How could it have toleratedthe pressure of her hand in the ―white heat‖ of writing every day across thedays of more than thirty years? And how could it have accommodated thethousands of leaves of blank paper Dickinson turned into manuscripts?
    5. 5. Just past the image of the pristine writing desk another, more unruly image is forming. I see the desk laden with volumes, open and closed—the family Bible; the novels of the Brontës, George Eliot, Charles Dickens; Ruskin‘s Modern Painters… Dickinson‘s copy of The Holy Bible, containing the Old and NewTestaments: translated out of the original tongues. Philadelphia: J. P. Several titles Dickinson was known to have had in Lippincott & Co., MDCCCXLIII. Houghton Library. her personal library.
    6. 6. I s e e i t c o ve r e d w i t h r o w s o f b o t a n i c a l s p e c i m e n s : Ja s m i n u s, C a l e n d u l aO f f i c i n a l i s, D i g i t a l i s, S a l v i a … . Random facsimile pages from Emily Dickinson‘s herbarium, c. 1839-1846. Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Am. 1118.11.
    7. 7. And beyond it, I see the room that gives the desk space, filling with papers… MSS drawn at random from the Amherst College Archives & Special Collections: A 889, A 193-94, A 867a, A 750, A 332, A 842.
    8. 8. There are stacks of them on the table,on the floor, on the bed…She moves them.Others living in the household andcoming from outside of it movethem.The wind moves them.Time moves them.My imagination moves them untilthere is a whirling and whirring ofmarks in the air… Jen Bervin, The Composite Marks of Fascicle 28. Cotton and silk thread on cotton batting. 6‘ x 8‘.
    9. 9. I see, of course, only what I see in the mind‘s eye.For like Bianchi, like everyone, I have arrived too late: I do not catch Dickinson in the act of writing. I do not see how she arranges and stab-binds the gatherings of poems we call fascicles, or how she archives them, whether with other bound gatherings only, or intermixed with loose sheets and fragments. I do not see how, or even if, she distinguishes among poems, prose, and passages of indeterminate genre…I do not see her search for a poem written years earlier to revise or only to re-read it.
    10. 10. There is so much more I ―cannot see to see -‖ (JP 371; FP 340) The cupola Edward Dickinson added atop the Homestead. Courtesy of the Dickinson Museum. Photographer: Frank Ward.
    11. 11. Just as I do not see the room as it appeared while Dickinson lived within it, I do not see it in the days and months following her death when her papers were discovered, sorted, destroyed, and disseminated. I do not see the clearing away of her effects, nor do I know if this process was carried out systematically or at chance‘s hands. I do not know if those entrusted to the task worked patiently or were overwhelmed by what they found.
    12. 12. Was there, as the story And if there was onlygoes, only a single locked one box, containing thebox containing thousands poems, where were the of poem manuscripts? letter drafts and Where has this fragments? Where were (Pandora‘s) box and its the manuscripts key gone? featured here discovered? Joseph Cornell, ―Toward the Blue Peninsula‖ (For Emily Dickinson, c. 1953)
    13. 13. In A Revelation, Bingham repeats Mabel Loomis Todd‘s claim that the ―Lord letters‖ were given to her mother by Austin Dickinson, though how they came to be in his possession was not recorded: ―One packet brought by Mr. Dickinson was different from all the others. In a used brown envelope, addressed in an unknown hand to ‗MissE. C. Dickinson, Amherst, Mass.,‘ the canceled stamps an issue of the early 1880s, it islabeled in my mother‘s writing, ‗Rough drafts of Emilys letters.‘ She told me that when Mr. Dickinson gave her this envelope he indicated that it was something very special and personal. A glance was enough to show her that the drafts it contained were indeed different. Obviously love letters, my mother did not ask Mr. Dickinson how they came to be in his possession, wondering though she did how they could have escaped destruction.‖
    14. 14. A 761: The envelope allegedly containing the ―Lord Letters.‖ Amherst College Library, Archives & Special Collections.
    15. 15. Was one box actually many boxes?After all the manuscripts have beencarried away from Dickinson‘sroom, questions whirl in their placeand do not settle.I see her desk, and I do not see it. Emily Dickinson‘s desk. Dickinson Room, Houghton Library, Harvard University.
    16. 16. Or rather, what I see is always a facsimile. The desk is a facsimile. And the manuscripts upon it, though they are written in Dickinson‘s hand, are facsimiles, too. Their transformation from original documents to alteredartifacts began as soon as Dickinson died and left them behind. Since then, they have become ever and ever more ―unbound from the aura of the original[s].‖We have never seen them except as uncanny doubles, estranged from their first orders and contexts. The aura that arises from them is nothing more, and nothing less, than our longing to have been present in the scene of her writing, in a moment always foreclosed to us.
    17. 17. FORECLOSE Forms: ME–15 forclose, 15 Sc. foirclois, 15– foreclose.Etymology: < forclos-, stem of forclore , < for- , for- prefix 3 + clore to close v. Some of the senses may have originated fromor have been influenced by the identification of the prefix with for- prefix 1 (compare Old English forclýsan to close, stop up),or with for- prefix 2, fore- prefix (compare preclude)....1.trans. To bar, exclude, shut out completely.†b. To bar or stop up (ones) passage. Obs.†2. To close fast, close or stop up, block up (an opening, way, etc.) Obs. a. To preclude, hinder, or prohibit (a person) from (an action) or to do something; to hinder the action, working, oractivity of. b. To debar from the enjoyment of. c. To preclude or prevent (an action or event). 5. To close beforehand; to answer or settle by anticipation. 6. To establish an exclusive claim to. J. R. Lowell Poet. Wks. (1879) 470 Are we..Foreclosed of Beauty by our modern date?
    18. 18. Perhaps our imagination of the desk cleared of its contents isthe right one after all.There is nothing there. And there is everything to imagine.On a recent trip I took to Amherst College, an archivist who hasworked in close proximity to Dickinson‘s manuscripts for manyyears, told me the story of another desk also believed to havebeen the poet‘s but which has so far been absent from re-imaginations of the scene of her writing. The desk, which shedisplayed, is in fact a crude writing board, 16 x 19‖, paintedwhite on one side, curved, with rollers that appear to fit over theknees.According to the story, the lap-desk was found, among otherfamily effects, in the attic of the Dickinson Homestead by theParke family, who had bought the property from Martha Bianchiin the 1916 and occupied it until 1965. Although associated withEmily Dickinson, the desk did not appeal to Mrs. Parke, and shedonated it to the Grace Church‘s Saint Nicholas Bazaar around1956. There it was purchased by Margaret Roberta Grahame,mother of Roberta M. Grahame, a former tour guide at theHomestead, and Great Aunt to the archivist who is the presentsource for this information.
    19. 19. Emily Dickinson‘s (?) writing board, 16 x 19‖, painted white on one side, curved, with rollers thatappear to fit over the knees. The lap-desk is housed in the Amherst College Library, Archives & Special Collections.
    20. 20. The stark simplicity of the object—its obvious uses for writing late at night or when ill in bed—along with the uncertainty of its provenance appeal to me. Like the sudden texts of Dickinson‘s late drafts and fragments, the board seems related to a practice of writing in the moment. Splashed with white paint, it may have offered a bright surface for writing in the dark. Under the painted surface, traces of lost texts may still be recovered… At once tabla rasa and mystic writing pad, the mysterious lap-desk embodies the greater mystery of writing‘s ―reportlessness,‖ a condition Dickinson associated with joy.
    21. 21. Emily Dickinson‘s writing board? MS A 251, c. 1876,Amherst College Archives & Special Collections ―In many and reportless| places‖
    22. 22. In many and reportless places Nature Deity Joy – Dissolves abates Exhales Sumptuous Destitution Without Name We inhaled it – waylaid it Blissful thereafter roamScattered words and phrases from Dickinson‘s late draft, ―In many andreportless | places‖ (A 251), superimposed on the image of the writing board.
    23. 23. NOTESSLIDE 1: The images on the opening slide include a reproduction of Dickinson‘s writing desk (left)now housed at the Dickinson Museum; a facsimile of a late fragment (A 821) beginning ―Clogged onlywith Music‖ (right); a lap-desk (center) that may have been Emily Dickinson‘s and is now in the AmherstCollege Library Archives & Special Collections; a facsimile (MS Am. 1118.5 [B 44]) of Dickinson‘ssignature (on lap-desk, left); a facsimile page (MS Am. 1118.11) from Dickinson‘s herbarium, c. 1839-1846 (on lap-desk, right); and a facsimile of a draft of a letter (A 757) from Dickinson to Otis Lordbeginning ―Tuesday is a deeply depressed day‖ (lap-desk, partially covered).MSS A 821, A 757, and the image of the lap-desk are reproduced with permission of the AmherstCollege Library, Archives & Special Collections.The image of the reproduction of Dickinson‘s desk is reproduced with permission of the DickinsonMuseum.MS Am 1118.5 (B 44) and MS Am. 1118.11 are reproduced with permission of the Houghton Library,Harvard University & the Harvard University Press. A digital scan of Dickinson‘s herbarium isavailable on the Houghton Library‘s webpage: seehttp://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/collections/modern/dickinson.cfm#web
    24. 24. NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 2:Left: The passage from Martha Dickinson Bianchi‘s Face to Face: Unpublished Letters with Notes andReminiscences by Her Niece (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1932) is quoted on the AmherstCollege Library‘s website:https://www.amherst.edu/aboutamherst/magazine/officespace/emilydickinson.Right: One of the many reproductions of Dickinson‘s writing table. The original desk is made fromcherry and pine (secondary wood), with brass finishings; it was made by an unknown carpenter, c.1830. This reproduction currently stands in the Dickinson Homestead. It is reproduced here withpermission of the Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, MA.Slide 3:Andy Warhol meets Emily Dickinson: repeated images of the reproduction copy of EmilyDickinson‘s writing desk currently housed in the Dickinson Museum.
    25. 25. NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 5:Left: A digital scan of Emily Dickinson‘s bible: The Holy Bible, containing the Old and NewTestaments: translated out of the original tongues. Philadelphia: J. P. Lippincott &Co., MDCCCXLIII. The bible was presented to Dickinson by her father, Edward Dickinson, in1844. The original volume is currently housed at the Houghton Library, Harvard University. Theimage, which appears on a blog associated with the Houghton‘s websitehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/houghtonmodern/2011/06/13/emily-dickinsons-not-so-sacred-book/, is reproduced by permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.Right (on writing desk): Images (superimposed) of random 19th-century books piled on Dickinson‘sdesk.Right (on floor): An image (superimposed) of several titles Dickinson was known to have had in herpersonal library. The image appears on the Emily Dickinson Museumwebsite, http://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/reading, and is reproduced with the Museum‘spermission.
    26. 26. NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 6:Random facsimile pages from Emily Dickinson‘s herbarium, c. 1839-1846 (MS Am. 1118.11).Reproduced by permission of the Houghton College Library, Harvard University. For a completedigital surrogate of the herbarium, seehttp://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/collections/modern/dickinson.cfm#web, the portal tomany digital images from the Houghton‘s extensive Emily Dickinson Collection.Slide 7:The digital facsimiles reproduced here are drawn from the Amherst College Library, Archives &Special Collections, and reproduced with the Library‘s permission: top center: a recipe, in Dickinson‘shand, for doughnuts (A 889); right (inner): A Western Union Telegraph blank inscribed with poem-drafts beginning ―Glass was the Street‖ and ―It came his turn‖ (A 193 / A194); right (outer): afragment of writing from a draft beginning, ―a similar Mirage of thought‖ (A 867a); bottom (center:) afragment of a fair-copy draft beginning, ―The withdrawal of the Fuel of Rapture‖ (A 750); left (inner),a postal wrapper inscribed with a rough-copy draft beginning, ―Pompless no Life ‖ (A 332); and left(outer): a fragment of a rough-copy draft beginning, ―As there are Apartments‖ (A 842).
    27. 27. NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 8:Right: The image is from Jen Bervin‘s The Composite Marks of Fascicle 28. Cotton and silk thread oncotton batting, 6 ft h x 8 ft w. Reproduced by permission of the artist.Slide 10:Center: The cupola Edward Dickinson added atop the Homestead. Courtesy of the DickinsonMuseum. Photographer: Frank Ward.Slide 12:Center: Joseph Cornell‘s ―Toward the Blue Peninsula‖ (For Emily Dickinson, c. 1953). The imageappears in numerous places on the web. This digital image was copied from the following source:http://www.mdmfineart.co.uk/?p=1187, December 2012.
    28. 28. NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 13:The quoted passage is from Millicent Todd Bingham, Emily Dickinson: A Revelation (New York:Harper & Bros., 1954), page 1.Slide 14:A 761: This envelope is housed in the Amherst College Library, Archives & Special Collections, andis reproduced with the Library‘s permission. Mabel Loomis Todd labeled the envelope ―Roughdrafts of Emily‘s letters.‖ Additional faint notes in pencil appear to read: ―[Mother?] [Millicent?] saysshe loved various [men?].‖ The words in brackets are largely illegible. If the initial word is indeed―Mother,‖ it would appear to be Millicent Todd Bingham‘s note about information she receivedabout the documents from Mabel Loomis Todd; if it is ―Millicent,‖ it is almost certainly Jay Leydasnote.
    29. 29. NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 15:Right: An image of the original writing table used by Emily Dickinson. Cherry, pine (secondarywood), brass; maker unknown, ca. 1830. The desk is currently housed in the Dickinson Room of theHoughton Library, Harvard University. This image is reproduced on the Houghton Library‘s website:http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/collections/modern/dickinson.cfmSlide 16:The quoted passage is from Meg Roland, ―Facsimile Editions: Gesture and Projection,‖ TextualCultures: Texts, Contexts, Interpretation 6.2 (2011): 49.Slide 17:The definition of ―foreclose‖ is from the online Oxford English Dictionary.
    30. 30. NOTES, CONTINUEDSlide 19:Center: A digital surrogate of a writing board, 16 x 19‖, painted white on one side, curved, withrollers that appear to fit over the knees. According to Margaret Dakin, Amherst CollegeLibrary, Archives & Special Collections, the board was found, among other family effects, in the atticof the Dickinson Homestead, by the Parke family, who bought the property from Martha Bianchi.Mrs. Parke donated the board to the Grace Church‘s Saint Nicholas Bazaar in the 1950s (possibly in1956), where it was purchased by Margaret Roberta Grahame, mother of Roberta M. Grahame, aformer tour guide at the Homestead. Although questions regarding provenance cannot be answereddefinitively, Mrs. Parke told Margaret Grahame that is was Emily Dickinson‘s writing board. Thewriting on the back of the board, Dakin notes, is Roberta‘s: she liked, writes Dakin, ―to documentthings in a hands-on sort of way‖ (private email correspondence, November 26, 2012).Slide 22:Superimposed on the writing board: Scattered words and phrases from Dickinson‘s late draft, ―In manyand reportless | places‖ (A 251).
    31. 31. FIN

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