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Emily Dickinson is regarded as one of the greatest poets of all time, but she has come to us as an odd and helpless woman living a life of self imposed seclusion. Lyndall Gordon sees instead a volcanic character living on her own terms and with a steely confidence in her own talent; a woman whose family feuded over a hothouse of adultery and devastating betrayal and a woman who had her own secret. After her death the fight for possession of Emily and her poetry became the feud's focus. 'Lives Like Loaded Guns has cracked one of poetry's most enduring enigmas ...It rescues Dickinson from the image of the passive, heart-broken recluse. It is a worthy monument to a poet even more extraordinary than we realised' Olivia Cole, Financial Times From the acclaimed biographer of Mary Wollstonecraft, T.S. Eliot, Charlotte Bronte, Virginia Woolf and Henry James.