"HER MIND WAS CHARGED WITH PARADOX": FIRST EDITION OF EMILY DICKINSON'S SECOND BOOK OF POEMS
DICKINSON, Emily. Poems. Second Series. Edited by two of her friends, T. W. Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1891. Small octavo, original half olive cloth with white cloth boards. Housed in a custom chemise and clamshell box.
First edition of Emily Dickinson's second book of poetry, one of only 960 copies of the first printing.
Emily Dickinson published only 11 poems during her lifetime, but upon her death in 1886, her sister Lavinia discovered 1775 manuscript poems. Mabel Todd edited and published the three series of these poems until a quarrel between the Dickinson and Todd families led to a division of the manuscripts, preventing the further publication of complete and authoritative editions of Dickinson's poetry until 70 years after her death (Wolff). Dickinson's lyrics, "her letter to the world," offer an account "of the life about her, of tiny ecstasies set in motion by mutations of the seasons or by home and garden incidents, of candid insights into her own states of consciousness, and of speculations on the timeless mysteries of love and death. Her mind was charged with paradox" (Hart, 201). This is the second of three books of Dickinson's poetry published by Mabel Todd. Binding A (no priority established) with olive cloth spine and white cloth boards stamped with Indian pipes design. Myerson A2.1a. BAL 4656. Small bookseller ticket.
Interior with minor faint foxing, inner hinges expertly reinforced; original cloth with foxing to front board, mild soiling to spine, a bit of wear to spine ends. A very good copy.