Posted on November 8, 2018 at 8:56 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Ah, the poor editor. Make too many changes, and you’ll be excoriated for your overreach. Take a light hand, and you’ll be criticized for not doing enough.

Maybe that’s what ran through the heads of Mabel Loomis Todd and Millicent Todd Bingham, the mother-daughter duo who helped prepare Emily Dickinson’s poetry for publication.

Julie Dobrow, a professor at Tufts University, has written a biography of the two, and an excerpt from the book that details how exactly they changed the original texts is up on Literary Hub today.

We have to express some sympathy for them — Dickinson didn’t title her poems, her handwriting was tough to decipher, and she often left several options for which word she ultimately wanted.

You can see what we mean here.

Categories: Today in Books

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