The Second Known Photo of Emily Dickinson Emerges

Until now, we’ve only had one authen­ti­cat­ed pho­to of the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry poet, Emi­ly Dick­in­son (1830–1886). The pho­to (above), tak­en when she was only 16 years old, shows Dick­in­son as a young­ster in high school cir­ca 1847, well before her lit­er­ary career came into full bloom. That has been the only visu­al trace of her to date.

But now, as The Guardian reports, Amherst Col­lege thinks it has dis­cov­ered an 1859 daguerreo­type show­ing the poet with her friend Kate Scott Turn­er. When this new­ly-dis­cov­ered image was tak­en, Emi­ly (on the left below) was 28 years old and like­ly writ­ing her mys­te­ri­ous mas­ter let­ters, as one Metafil­ter read­er points out.

Poems by Emi­ly Dick­in­son can be found in our col­lec­tion of Free eBooks and Free Audio Books, along with lots of oth­er great works.

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Comments (9)
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  • Shelley says:

    I did­n’t know a pic­ture could have such an impact on my image of her.

    I wish Richard Sewall were alive to see this.

  • Mark Andresen says:

    Study­ing this sec­ond image again, I’m a lot less con­vinced… Even tak­ing into account she’d be old­er in the sec­ond image, the girl­ish mouth is too dif­fer­ent and the weak chin in the for­mer image is also gone.

  • Inci Birdal says:

    Ques­tion­ing, defi­ant eyes delv­ing into our souls..such strong women they must have been!

  • simone gad says:

    both strik­ing­ly beau­ti­ful in their own unique way

  • Dyann says:

    I see what you are say­ing, but look again at her hair­line and the upturn of the left side (fac­ing you) of her (Mona Lisa) smile and the down­turn of the left.
    I agree with Inci. Her eyes can not be dupli­cat­ed.

  • tom boring says:

    A foren­sics analy­sis con­clud­ed the woman is not Emi­ly Dick­in­son. I don’t believe it is. I can’t drop the analysis/photo onto this mes­sage!

  • durrant says:

    Hi Tom,
    I should be grate­ful of you could send me the foren­sic report on the Dick­en­son pho­tos
    With thanks
    Paul Dur­rant

  • paul durrant says:

    I have some­where seen a mon­tage of the two pho­tos, the left side of one against the right side of the oth­er to make a com­pos­ite pic­ture and it is total­ly con­vinc­ing. No doubt in my mind it is the same woman

  • Andrew Dabrowski says:

    The noses are dis­tinct­ly dif­fer­ent. That in the lat­er pho­to is longer and nar­row­er.

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