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Emily Dickinson's Herbarium: A Facsimile Edition [FACSIMILE] (Hardcover) by Emily Dickinson (Author), Judith Farr (Preface), Richard B. Sewall (Introduction), Leslie A. Morris (Foreword), Raymond Angelo (Contributor)
In a letter from 1845, the 14-year-old Emily Dickinson asked her friend Abiah Root if she had started collecting flowers and plants for a herbarium: "it would be such a treasure to you; 'most all the girls are making one." Emily's own album of more than 400 pressed flowers and plants, carefully preserved, has long been a treasure of Harvard's Houghton Library. This beautifully produced, slipcased volume now makes it available to all readers interested in the life and writings of Emily Dickinson.
The care that Emily put into her herbarium, as Richard Sewall points out, goes far beyond what one might expect of a botany student her age: "Take Emily's herbarium far enough, and you have her." The close observation of nature was a lifelong passion, and Emily used her garden flowers as emblems in her poetry and her correspondence. Each page of the album is reproduced in full color at full size, accompanied by a transcription of Dickinson's handwritten labels. Introduced by a substantial literary and biographical essay, and including a complete botanical catalog and index, this volume will delight scholars, gardeners, and all readers of Emily Dickinson's poetry.
4 out of 5 stars Emily Dickinson's Herbarium, September 27, 2007
By Vicki E. Luebke (Pleasant Prairie, WI USA) (REAL NAME)
I enjoyed this book very much. It was a thrill to see Emily Dickinson's own handwriting and all the flowers she collected at such a young age. I especially enjoyed seeing the Fringed Gentians and thinking about the poems she wrote about them at a later age.
I was somewhat disappointed in the text. The authors didn't spend much time editing it and making it cohesive. The science section in particular could have had a more detailed description of the wetland prairie habitat in which Emily Dickinson collected the plants.
Overall, I was very pleased with the book. It was beautifully photographed. To describe it as a coffee table book would hardly do it justice. I have lived on a prairie for many years and have seen many of the wildflowers Emily Dickinson has in her "Herbarium". Seeing "Emily Dickinson's Herbarium" has certainly left me with a feeling of intimacy with the poet and her poetry.
5 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Book, July 27, 2008
By Theodore W. Palmer (Eugene, Oregon USA) (REAL NAME)
Harvard University has preserved the artistically beautiful collection of plants made by Emily Dickinson as a young teenager, but had not allowed anyone to see it because it is so fragile. They decided to have it photographed in color once and have published this gorgeous, full scale facsimile, so that all those interested in her poetry, which relied heavily on botanical references, can now see a treasure previously completely unavailable. I collect rare books and this publication, just as a book, outside of the great interest of its contents, is among the most impressive and beautiful books published recently in the less than $1,000. range. Its availability has already stimulated other books on her as a gardener and amateur botanist.
4 out of 5 stars A herbarial life, February 18, 2007
By Migheli Antonio (Italy) (REAL NAME)
Wonderful book, tells much about the author's reluctance to expose herself to the living world.