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"Sisters are brittle things. God was penurious with me, which makes me shrewd with him" (L207).

Letter from Dickinson to Dr. and Mrs. J.G. Holland, September 1859.

from The Letters of Emily Dickinson by Thomas H. Johnson
and An Emily Dickinson Encyclopedia by Jane Donahue Eberwein, Ed.

(1833-1899)Younger by two years and two months, Lavinia Dickinson was the poet's only sister and her closest consort for half a century. The bond the sisters shared was vital and proved to be, in Emily's words, "early, earnest, indissoluble. Without her life were fear, and Paradise a cowardice, except for her inciting voice" (L827).