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Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was an American poet whose poetry commonly comprised short lines, slant rhyme, and unconventional capitalization and punctuation. The subject of death is common in her poems.
See the fact file below for more information on the Emily Dickinson or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Emily Dickinson worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
BIRTH AND FAMILY
- Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts on December 10, 1830.
- Emily Dickinson’s ancestors, particularly on her father’s side, arrived in the New World during the Puritan Great Migration, approximately 200 years before Emily was born.
- Emily’s family were not very wealthy but were prominent.
- Emily’s father was Edward Dickinson, who was a lawyer and a trustee of Amherst College.
- Emily Dickinson’s homestead is now a historic house museum that comprises two houses, The Dickinson Homestead and the Evergreens, the exact address of which is 280 Main St., Amherst, Massachusetts.
- The homestead was built under the funding of Samuel Dickinson, Emily’s paternal grandfather. It was a large mansion built on Amherst’s Main Street and became the center of Dickinson life for a century.
- Samuel Dickinson was also one of the founders of Amherst College, where he made Edward, Emily’s father, a trustee or treasurer who served from 1835 to 1873.
- Emily’s father Edward Dickinson was a lawyer and a trustee of Amherst College.
- Edward was a prominent man; as well as being a Amherst College trustee, he served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1838-1839; 1873) at the Massachusetts Senate (1842-1843).
- Emily’s mother was Emily Norcross who came from Monson.
- Edward met her while on a legal business trip to Monson.
- Edward and Emily wed on May 6, 1828.
- Edward and Emily had three children: William Austin, Emily Elizabeth, and Lavinia.
- Emily Elizabeth was generally known as a well-behaved girl according to the people around her.
- According to an account from her Aunt Lavinia, she was “perfectly well and contented—She was a very good child & and but little trouble”.
- The young Emily Elizabeth liked listening to music, and developed a talent for playing the piano.
- Emily’s parents, particularly her father, wanted her to be a well-educated woman and monitored her progress even while away on business by writing to his children saying “keep school, and learn, so as to tell me, when I come home, how many new things you have learned”.
- Her mother was not a noble like her father. In a letter, Emily described how she ran home to her brother, Austin, when she had trouble with other children, instead of her mother.
- Emily humorously described her brother as an “awful brother, but I liked him better than none”.
- Emily started school at Amherst Academy, along with her sister, Lavinia, on September 7, 1840.
TEENAGE LIFE AND EDUCATION
- Emily studied at Amherst Academy for seven years, taking classes in English and classical literature, Latin, botany, geology, history, “mental philosophy”, and arithmetic.
- According to the Academy’s principal, Daniel Taggart, Emily was a very bright student, “an excellent scholar, of exemplary deplorement, faithful in all school duties”.
- Emily enjoyed studying and loved the Academy. In a letter to a friend, she described it to be “a very fine school.”
- Emily was traumatized by the death of her dear cousin, Sophia Holland, in April 1844.
- She became melancholic and was sent to her relatives in Boston to recover. Soon, she recovered and returned to the academy and made new friends.
- A religious revival in Amherst resulted in 46 confessions from Emily’s peers. She was moved, as she wrote to a friend: “I never enjoyed such perfect peace and happiness as the short time in which I felt I had found my Savior.”
- However, her religious experience did not last. Emily never declared her faith formally. In 1852, she wrote a poem opening: “Some keep the Sabbath going to church/ I keep it, staying at Home.”
- She became depressed when Leonard Humphrey, one of her closest friend, died in 1850.
- The strongest correspondence she had in the 1850s was with her sister-in-law, Susan Gilbert, and this has been interpreted by some scholars as romantic.
- In 1858, Emily isolated herself from the world due to the declining health of her mother, and the death of her closest friends.
- She began to review poems she had written from 1858 to 1865, a total of nearly 800 poems.
- At the age of eighteen, a family friend named Atty. Benjamin Franklin Newton introduced Emily to the works of poets like William Wordsworth and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
- Newton was believed to have encouraged Emily to write poetry.
- Emily wrote that Newton “touched a secret Spring” as he regarded her as a poet.
- She was also influenced by popular writers, such as Emily Bronte.
- Emily’s health declined in the 1880s.
- Her physician said that Emily died from Bright’s Disease, a disease that lasted for two and a half years. She finally died on May 15, 1886.
Emily Dickinson Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Emily Dickinson across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Emily Dickinson worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Emily Elizabeth Dickinson who was an American poet whose poetry commonly comprised short lines, slant rhyme, and unconventional capitalization and punctuation. The subject of death is common in her poems.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Emily Dickinson Facts
- Biography of Emily
- Order of Events
- Emily’s Family
- Quick Questions
- Book Details
- Poem Analysis
- Famous American Poets
- Femme Power
- Dickinson-Inspired Poem
- Ideal Bookmarks
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Link will appear as Emily Dickinson Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 15, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.