THE UNTOLD STORY OF ONE OF HISTORY’S GREATEST ROMANCES: EMILY DICKINSON AND HERMAN MELVILLE—WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
The manuscript of this lost novel was discovered by John J. Healey in a banker’s box left by his late grandfather, its authorship unknown. Emily & Herman: A Literary Romance (Arcade Publishing, May 2013) uses charming imagination to portray what could have been one of the greatest love affairs in the world of American letters.
In this delightful fictional account, Emily Dickinson, barely twenty in 1851, was not the New England poet confined to her home and crippled by phobias whose image is familiar to us. To John J. Healey, she was vibrant and engaging, and her “master”—a mysterious lover, whose identity scholars have long debated—might well have been Herman Melville, who was finishing his masterpiece, Moby Dick. They meet, and so begins an engaging and brief love affair between these two iconic and revered literary figures. The cast of characters also features Walt Whitman and Nathaniel Hawthorne, who was a close friend of Melville’s at the time. This novel is a requisite for anyone who loves American literature or harbors a romantic heart.