Love — is anterior to Life

Back in Vent #717, I ventured the opinion that Emily Dickinson “looked pretty good in black” — based on the single surviving daguerreotype.

Except “single” may not be the appropriate word anymore. The History Blog reports:

But now there’s a new contender for the title of only picture of Emily Dickinson as an adult poet, and the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections thinks it may just be the real deal. The image is a daguerreotype taken around 1859 of two women sitting next to each other, one with her arm around the other. It belongs to a daguerreotype collector who bought it in a group of items from a Springfield junk dealer in 1995.

“Adult” is specified because Dickinson was still in her teens in 1847, when that previous shot was taken. Here’s a comparison of the two portraits, through the magic of Photoshop:

And here’s a report by the magicians in question.


Addendum: Fark headline: “Second photo of Emily Dickinson found. She appears small, like the wren, and her hair is bold, like the chestnut bur”.



  1. Lo »

    8 September 2012 · 9:18 am

    Thanks for the reference to our post on Emily Dickinson.

  2. CGHill »

    8 September 2012 · 9:39 pm

    Happy to pass it along. It’s fascinating stuff.

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