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First Todd began to work on the editing; then Higginson joined her, persuaded by Lavinia. Over some years, they published three volumes of Emily Dickinson's poems.The extensive editing changes they made "regularized" Emily's odd spellings, word usage, and especially punctuation. From the few drafts of letters that were not destroyed, at her instruction, when she died, it's apparent that she worked on each letter as a piece of artwork in itself, often picking phrases that she'd used years before.Sometimes she changed little, sometimes she changed a lot.

Mabel Todd read and was impressed by some of Emily's poems, read to her by Susan.Todd was sole editor of the third volume of poems, but kept to the editing principles they'd worked out together.Higginson and Todd were likely correct in their judgment, that the public could not accept the poems as they were.Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts.Her father and mother were both what we would today call "distant." Her brother, Austin, was bossy but ineffective; her sister, Lavinia, never married, and lived with Emily and was protective of the much shyer Emily.

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