Books January 2009
The poet’s preceptor
On White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson & Thomas Wentworth Higginson by Brenda Wineapple
Brenda Wineapple White Heat: -->reviewed by Molly McQuade -->
The first thing to say about this dual portrait of two old-and-famous literary friends is that it spares the rest of us a great deal of effort: We don’t have to fathom or imagine what brought the two of them together, for this work has been done for us. Brenda Wineapple’s reconsideration of the complex twenty-four-year camaraderie of the poet Emily Dickinson and the literary “man of action” Thomas Wentworth Higginson, both of them post-Puritan New Englanders, follows the two of them closely and over many years—beyond the span of their natural lives, in fact. Wineapple peers at each life separately, and in detail, even before assaying her main subject: What was this...
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