Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Little-known during her life, she has since been regarded as one of the most important figures in American poetry. Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, into a prominent family with strong ties to its community. After studying at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she briefly attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family's home in Amherst. Evidence suggests that Dickinson lived much of her life in isolation. Considered an eccentric by locals, she developed a penchant for white clothing and was known for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, even to leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, and most of her friendships were based entirely upon correspondence.While Dickinson was a prolific writer, her only publications during her lifetime were 10 of her nearly 1,800 poems and one letter. The poems published then were usually edited significantly to fit conventional poetic rules. Her poems were unique for her era; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends, and also explore aesthetics, society, nature, and spirituality.Although Dickinson's acquaintances were most likely aware of her writing, it was not until after she died in 1886—when Lavinia, Dickinson's younger sister, discovered her cache of poems—that her work became public. The first published collection of her poetry was made in 1890 by personal acquaintances Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd, though they heavily edited the content. A complete collection of her poetry first became available in 1955 when scholar Thomas H. Johnson published The Poems of Emily Dickinson. In 1998, The New York Times reported on a study in which infrared technology revealed that much of Dickinson's work had been deliberately censored to exclude the name "Susan". At least eleven of Dickinson's poems were dedicated to her sister-in-law Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson, and all the dedications were later obliterated, presumably by Todd. This censorship serves to obscure the nature of Emily and Susan's relationship, which many scholars have interpreted as romantic.