Into the World’s Great Heart
Selected Letters of Edna St. Vincent Millay
Imprint: Yale University Press
Throughout her life, Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote hundreds of letters, which together create a colorful tapestry of her inner life. This selection, based on archival research, represents Millay’s correspondence from 1900, when she was eight, until 1950, the last year of her life. Through her letters, readers encounter the vast range of Millay’s interests, including world literature, music, and horse racing, as well as her commitment to gender equality and social justice.
This collection, edited by Timothy F. Jackson, includes previously unpublished correspondence, as well as letters containing early versions of poems, revealing new dimensions in Millay’s creative process and influences. It is enriched by Jackson’s thoughtful introduction and notes, plus a foreword by Millay’s literary executor, Holly Peppe.
Millay’s observations on her inner life and the world around her—which speak to contemporary concerns as well—add to our understanding of American literature in the first half of the twentieth century.
“Into the World’s Great Heart is a fascinating, meticulously documented, behind-the-scenes look at a writer’s informal use of words in letters as Millay describes her passions, obsessions, and wide-ranging intellectual interests.”—Laurie Lisle, author of Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe
“No one writes like Millay. Her letters bring her unique wit and intelligence vividly to life. This invaluable new edition will make you fall in love with Millay all over again.”—Melissa Girard, Loyola University Maryland
“The ‘tendrils of faith’ which Millay described as the natural force driving her poetry became live wires connecting her to a wide audience of admirers. In this new, masterfully edited collection, her letters have the same gripping effect on her readers.”—Thomas E. Hill, Vassar College
“What a joy to enter into the ‘great heart’ of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s correspondence! Editor Timothy F. Jackson skillfully highlights the versatile voice of this famous poet and iconic modern woman.”—Catherine Keyser, author of Playing Smart: New York Women Writers and Modern Magazine Culture
“Edna St. Vincent Millay possessed so much life and daring and wit that she leaps from the page in these letters. What a pleasure to share her company.”—Kate Bolick, author of Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own