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Television Shows

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Dickinson is an American series about American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). The shows explores the constraints Emily Dickinson faced to live the life she wanted to - because of her sex, her class and her family. Featured in the series is Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson (1830-1913), a close friend of Dickinson's who was orphaned at the age of 5 and grew up in kinship care. At the end of the series, Susan marries Emily’s brother, Austin Dickinson.

In the 2nd season of Dickinson (2020) there is another orphan story. This storyline is about Edward Dickinson (Toby Huss) organising for 2 of his orphaned nieces to live with his son, Austin (Adrian Enscoe). Edward’s reasoning is that the family will have access to the orphans’ inheritances and that money will help the Dickinson’s who have a cash flow problem. Austin’s wife, Sue (Ella Hunt), is not happy. Nor is Austin when he finds Sue treating the orphans as servants.

According to American scholar, Linda Wagner-Martin, this story is based in fact; Edward Dickinson did send 2 of his 4 wards to live with Austin and Sue, which gave Edward more access to their inheritance.

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