Stunningly Original – A Landmark

Wow –

New endorsement of Maid as Muse by Peter Quinn – novelist, political historian, and foremost chronicler of New York City:

Maid as Muse is a landmark work of historical revelation that unearths truths so glaringly significant it seems improbable they could have been ignored — yet ignored they were.

Generations of Emily Dickinson scholars and devoted admirers (myself included)  reveled in every facet of her life, studied every nuance, and savored every detail. But somehow the web of domestic relationships that sustained the Dickinson household and was so integral to the poet’s achievement was barely noticed and rarely remarked on.

Aífe Murray’s book changes all that. More than a breathtakingly original investigation that alters our perception of Dickinson’s everyday existence, Maid as Muse restores to the historical record the lives of those most often forgotten or passed over”—immigrants, women, the working class.

Murray opens our eyes (and our hearts and minds) to the complex interaction of gender, class, race, and ethnicity in the Dickinson home in Amherst as well as in the wider context of 19th-century New England.

She gives voice to the voiceless, and enriches and deepens our understanding of Emily Dickinson and the world of which she was part.

Maid as Muse is a rare, wonderful, and stunningly original book.

I am in awe of what Aífe Murray has done.”

Thank you Peter!

Peter is the author of Looking for Jimmy, Banished Children of Eve, Hour of the Cat, and the newly released The Man Who Never Returned.

Read his essay review – published in  Commonweal – of Maid as Muse, Brenda Wineapple’s White Heat, and Kim Nielsen’s Beyond the Miracle Worker.

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