All Things Dickinson
An Encyclopedia of Emily Dickinson's World
by Wendy Martin, Editor
January 2014, 1016pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-0331-4
$189, £140, 158€, A270
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-0332-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Dickinson’s work was directly connected to the world in which she lived.

An exciting new reference work that illuminates the beliefs, customs, events, material culture, and institutions that made up Emily Dickinson's world, giving users a glance at both Dickinson's life and times and the social history of America in the 19th century.

While Emily Dickinson is one of the most widely studied American poets, some dimensions of her life and work are largely under-appreciated. This book provides the wider context necessary for a more complete understanding of Dickinson, presenting Dickinson’s life and times as well as discussion of her poetry and letters. Prolific author and Dickinson expert Wendy Martin and 59 contributors address the relationship between Emily Dickinson’s life and work and the larger world in which she lived. Examination of topics such as the history of Amherst, MA, and the Dickinson family’s place in it; and the cultural, financial, political, legal, and religious practices of the day illuminate important dimensions of Dickinson’s experiences and world for students, scholars, and general readers of this iconic poet’s work.


  • Provides more than 200 alphabetically arranged entries, covering such subjects as architecture; dress; education and intellectual life; newspapers; marriage; family (including Dickinson's own); food and drink; friends; plants and animals; religious practices; philosophies; war; some of the symbols and themes found in Dickinson's poetry; and other aspects of Dickinson's era
  • Presents a chronology from 1801 to 1945 listing milestones in Emily Dickinson's life, her publications, as well as significant events of the 19th century
  • Offers listings of recommended books, online resources, and videos
  • Supplies illustrations and photos that add to the understanding of Dickinson's experiences and the world around her
Wendy Martin is professor of American literature and American studies and the director of the Tufts Poetry Awards Program at Claremont Graduate University (CGU). She is also vice provost and director of Transdisciplinary Studies at CGU and holds the George and Ronya Kozmetsky Endowed Chair of Transdisciplinary Studies. Her published works include American Sisterhood: Feminist Writings from the Colonial Times to the Present; An American Triptych: The Lives and Work of Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, and Adrienne Rich; We Are the Stories We Tell: Best Short Fiction by North American Women Writers Since 1945; and The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson. Martin has also written many reviews for The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times as well as lectured on topics in American literature and culture both nationally and internationally. She founded and continues to edit Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal and serves on the editorial board of the Heath Anthology of American Literature.


"[T]he entries are well written and the connections between Dickinson’s writings and the world around her are shown with a particular richness. . . . Overall, a very good overview of Dickinson’s life and times. This is suitable for high school and college students and for general readers who are interested in American literature and poetry."—Booklist, May 1, 2014

"The breadth of coverage in these volumes is outstanding as are some special features. . . . [T]his will make an excellent addition to college and large public library collections."—ARBA, April 1, 2014

"This two-volume set represents the poet as a point encircled within the greater context of US history, but also represents US history from the perspective of Dickinson and her poetry. . . . With this work, readers will be reminded of the wide world in which Dickinson lived. . . . All Things Dickinson is more a social history than a literary study; as such it enriches readers' knowledge of the poet and of American history. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty."—Choice, December 1, 2014

"This volume is appropriate for newer scholars, generalists and enthusiasts of Emily Dickinson’s life and works."—Reference Reviews, October 1, 2014
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