|Letter 1||Letter 2||Letter 3|
|These three letters, which Emily Dickinson drafted
to a man she called "Master," stand near the heart of her mystery.
Although there is no evidence the letters were ever posted (none of the
surviving documents would have been in suitable condition), they indicate
a long relationship, geographically apart, in which correspondence would
have been the primary means of communication. Dickinson did not write
letters as a fictional genre, and these were surely part of a much larger
correspondence yet unknown to us.
(The Master Letters of Emily Dickinson, ed. by R.W. Franklin. Amherst College Press, 1986, p,5 introd.)
Franklin presents the three letters in chronological order, based upon new dating of the manusripts:
Letters 1 spring 1858 ("I am ill")
Letters 2 early 1861 (Oh- did I offended")
Letters 3 summer 1861 ("If you saw a bullet")