A rare three-page autograph letter by Emily Dickinson, written in pencil and signed “Emily," is being offered by Profiles In History in its Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector sale December 18, 2012.
It is estimated to sell for $20,000 - $30,000.
Written in Amherst during Autumn 1884 to Mrs. Samuel E. Mack, the reclusive American poetess expresses her pleasure in Mrs. Mack's recent visit and quotes from Last Lines, a poem by Emily Brontë.
Dickinson writes in full:
It was very dear to see Mrs. Mack. A friend is a solemnity and after the great intrusion of Death, each one that remains has a special pricelessness besides the mortal worth --- I hope you may live while we live, and then with loving selfishness consent that you should go ---
Said the Marvellous Emily Bronte
Though Earth and Man were gone And suns and Universe ceased to be And thou wert left alone,
Every Existence would Exist in thee--
Letters by Dickinson are extremely rare. This missive - oddly addressing her correspondent in the first sentence in the third person - was published in the Letters of Emily Dickinson edited by T.H. Johnson, no. 940, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958), noting that Dickinson quoted the same poem of Emily Bronte in a letter to another friend, Maria Whitney.
The letter was last seen at Christie’s New York, 15 December 1995, lot 16, when, along with related material, it sold for $16,000.
Images courtesy of Profiles In History, woth our thanks.