Though in her lifetime only ten of Emily Dickinson's poems were published, her death revealed 1,789 poems, many of them in hand-sewn booklets, secreted in a locked chest. She is now regarded as one of the greatest poets of all time, but she has come down to us as a woman disappointed in love, an odd and pathetic woman who dressed in white and shut herself away. Lyndall Gordon sees instead her volcanic character - 'a soul at White Heat' - a mystic and lover whose family harboured a hothouse drama of sex, scandal and devastating betrayal. Emily Dickinson was a woman beyond her time who found love, spiritual quickening and immortality all on her own terms: she wrote 'My Life had Stood - a Loaded Gun'. Here is an explosive genius. 
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