David Preest read Classics at Oxford University, and since retiring from teaching Classics he has had two translations of medieval Latin texts published: William of Malmesbury’s The Deeds of the Bishops of England and Thomas Walsingham’s Chronica Maiora , the second of which won an Outstanding Academic Title award from the USA journal Choice . Alongside Classics, he has pursued his interest in Emily Dickinson, recently visiting her house in Amherst, and reading all the books he could find which would help with the compilation of these notes.
Her lively Childhood and Youth were filled with schooling, reading, explorations of nature, religious activities, significant friendships, and several key encounters with poetry. Her most intense Writing Years consumed the decade of her late 20s and early 30s; during that time she composed almost 1100 poems. She made few attempts to publish her work, choosing instead to share them privately with family and friends. In her Later Years Dickinson increasingly withdrew from public life. Her garden, her family (especially her brother’s family at The Evergreens) and close friends, and health concerns occupied her.