Rapture and Melancholy The Diaries of Edna St. Vincent Millay Edna St. Vincent Millay, Daniel Mark Epstein, Holly Peppe

Publication date:
12 Apr 2022
Yale University Press
416 pages: 235 x 156mm
11 b-w illus.

The first publication of Edna St. Vincent Millay's private, intimate diaries

The English author Thomas Hardy proclaimed that America had two great attractions: the skyscraper, and the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950). In these diaries the great American poet illuminates not only her literary genius, but her life as a devoted daughter, sister, wife, and public heroine; and finally as a solitary, tragic figure.
This is the first publication of the diaries she kept from adolescence until middle age, 1907 until 1949, her most productive years. Who was the girl who wrote "Renascence," that marvel of early twentieth-century poetry? What trauma or spiritual journey inspired the poem? And after such celebrity why did she vanish into near seclusion after 1940? These questions hover over the life and work, and trouble biographers and readers alike. Intimate, eloquent, these confessions and keen observations provide the key to understanding Millay's journey from small-town obscurity to world fame, and the tragedy of her demise.

Pulitzer Prize winner Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950) was a poet and playwright. Millay biographer Daniel Mark Epstein is a poet and dramatist, the author of books about Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, and Bob Dylan, and a recipient of awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.