Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1890, 1891, 1896. First editions. Very Good + condition for all three books. The first book, one of 500 copies, with spine faded and foxing along outer edge of white cloth. Previous owner's bookplate on the front paste-down, otherwise clean and unmarked internally. The second book, one of 960 copies, spine toned and slightly cocked and with two previous owner's markings on the front end paper. The third book, with spine mildly toned, some wear at spine ends and minor offsetting on end papers from the silk book marker. In all an excellent set of first printings, with the first book being particularly difficult to find in collectible condition. Most of Dickinson's work (including these volumes) was published posthumously and received mixed critical review. In time, however, her work has become strongly associated with the feminist movement and early, pre-modernist poetry.
“Dickinson never shied away from the great subjects of human suffering, loss, death, even madness, but her perspective was intensely private; like Rainer Maria Rilke and Gerard Manley Hopkins, she is the great poet of inwardness, of the indefinable region of the soul in which we are, in a sense, all alone.” - Joyce Carol Oats (from “Essential Dickinson”)
“Except for Shakespeare, Dickinson manifests more cognitive originality than any other Western poet since Dante . . . at the height of her powers, [she is] the best mind to appear among Western poets in nearly four centuries.” — Harold Bloom Very Good + (Item #914)
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