Dickinson, Cartoonist

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"A poor - torn Heart - ..."


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H B175JP 78 | FP 125 | late 1850s | Pencil | 20 x 13 cm

Poems (1891), 45. Pencilled handwriting similar to that of "Master" letter, cutouts from Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop are attached to top and bottom of text with pink thread still on the manuscript. Folded in thirds, "Sue" on verso. Three pinholes, presumably made to attach flower and secure folded sheet, appear above the last two lines, above phrase "Blue Havens." "P - but use" is pencilled on verso. The fact that her own name christened her "Dickens' son" was surely not lost on Dickinson, a writer given to puns and verbal wit, as she responds to another contemporary writer with cartooning play. Well known and widely quoted is Oscar Wilde's remark about this character and these very scenes in The Old Curiosity Shop: “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.” See Comic Power in Emily Dickinson 77-82 and Rowing in Eden 118-123 for fuller discussion.