Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Fascinating story about how Philip F. Gura found a photo of Emily Dickinson on eBay. While its authenticity is still being established, it seems increasingly likely that it's the real deal. Previously, scholars had believed there to be only a single surviving photo of the great American poet.

Gura says,
I know it is she, even if I cannot yet absolutely prove it. If the image proves genuine beyond a doubt, I realize that I will have to find a home for it in some institution, for it then would belong in a new way to all people who love Dickinson’s poetry. Right now, however, I can look at this image every day and thus perhaps get as "close" to this elusive woman as anyone can. It is a delightful feeling.
Gura picked up the photo for $481. The starting price had been $24 and only one other individual (Robert Lucas, "a well-known dealer in Dickinsoniana") even bid on it.

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