The Great Revival and Poetic Beginnings - 18481850 The...

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1848–1850: The Great Revival and Poetic Beginnings In the fall of 1848, a group of young, unmarried Amherst women formed a social group called the Sewing Society. The group met twice a month at the Amherst House, a hotel in town. They sewed for two hours, making things they would donate to charities, and then received any male callers who wanted to visit. Emily Dickinson and her friends joined this group. Many of Austin Dickinson's male friends found Emily charming and witty, though few had romantic designs on her. Despite being "plain", as her friend Thomas Wentworth Higginson would later describe her, Dickinson drew admirers with her intelligence, charm, and wit. However, although she flirted with her visitors, Dickinson did not seem to have deep feelings for any of them. In 1849, Benjamin Newton told Dickinson that he had decided to move back to Worcester, Massachusetts, the town in which he grew up. Dickinson was devastated by his departure. As a parting gift, Benjamin gave her a copy of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Poems. In 1849, Dickinson's sister Lavinia left home for Ipswich Female Seminary, a boarding school. Many of the household chores fell to Dickinson, and they usually took all day.
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