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Second-Ever Photo of Emily Dickinson Discovered

This daguerreotype is believed to be a photograph of Emily Dickinson in her mid-20s, seated with her friend Kate Scott Turner in 1859. If the suspicions of Amherst College historians proves true, it will become only the second authenticated image of the reclusive poet known to exist.

The college's archives and special collections department has subjected the 1859 daguerreotype, owned by a New England collector, to multiple tests, including an ophthalmological report, and says that all of the current evidence is in favour of the woman on the left of the image being Dickinson.

Measurements of the woman in the newly discovered photo were compared to the features in Dickinson's one other photograph, and both were found to be identical in many  respects, including an astigmatism in the same eye in both images. Especially interesting is the time at which it was taken, because Dickinson was already quite withdrawn by 1859. Link


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The inferonasal corneal light reflex suggests corneal curvature similarity, allowing us to speculate about similar astigmatism in the two women.

The fact that they can infer corneal curvature from a daguerreotype is all sorts of impressive.
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