Emily Dickinson: A New Look?
Until now, there has only been one known photograph of Emily Dickinson. Taken at age 16, the daguerreotype reveals a frail teenager with slightly arched eyebrows and an impossibly slender neck. It’s an image hard to match with Dickinson’s poetry, but last week Amherst College announced that a second likeness had been found.
The daguerreotype, bought in an estate sale in Springfield, MA by an anonymous collector in 1995, depicts a harder, more mature face with the same deep eyes.
The two images have been analyzed side-by-side for facial likeness and the Photoshopped transition between the two seems flawless.
Furthermore, the second woman in the photograph has been identified as Kate Scott Turner, a friend of the Dickinson Family.
Could this be Dickinson, and if so, what does that mean for how we perceive the poetess?
For the moment, no one can make a definitive identification, not even those present at the 2012 Emily Dickinson International Society Conference where the image was displayed in August.
Since it seems that most of the other articles on this topic include a snippet of relevant poetry, I will merely quote Dickinson to conclude.
As she wrote, “Hope is the thing with feathers.”
Thanks to @efarwellc for tipping us off.
More information from the Emily Dickinson Museum can be found here.