Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, in December of 1830 to a moderately wealthy family. She was frequently ill as a child, a fact which something contributed to her later agoraphobic tendencies. Dickinson never married but became solely responsible for the family household. Solitude, and the pleasures and pains associated with it, is one of Dickinson’s most common topics—as are death, love, and mental health.
During her lifetime Dickinson wrote hundreds of poems and chose, for a variety of reasons, to only have around ten published. After her death, her sister Lavinia discovered a collection of almost 1800 poems amongst her possessions. The volume, Complete Poems was published in 1955. Dickinson is now one of the most popular poets of all time and is credited with writing some of the most skillful and beautiful poems the English language has ever seen.