Youthful Courting - 18501853 Youthful Courting In late...

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1850–1853: Youthful Courting In late summer of 1850, Austin Dickinson graduated from Amherst College along with his good friend George Gould, whose company Emily enjoyed. Gould was a tall, lanky man who was studying theology and hoped to be a minister. He made frequent visits to the Dickinson home. Because Gould's prospects were so poor, however, Edward Dickinson supposedly did not think him a suitable match for Dickinson or Lavinia. One rumor holds that George Gould proposed marriage to Dickinson, and she declined. Young men began visiting Dickinson and her sister more and more often, but Dickinson took none of them seriously. In late 1850, Leonard Humphrey, Dickinson's friend and tutor, died of what was then called brain congestion. He likely died of an aneurysm. To Dickinson it was a crushing blow. She spent the next few months in a depression. The next year, Dickinson's brother Austin began teaching at a boy's school in Boston. Dickinson was writing poems in her room, but told no one of how seriously she was taking her craft nor of the experiments she was conducting with structure and style, such as assonant rhyming patterns and dashes dividing lines into rhythmic sections. Dickinson spent almost as much time reading as she did writing. She devoured the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett
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