Drafts of letters to Lord suggest that the poet even considered marrying him, though she never did.
Dickinson's later life is marked by illness and death: her father's death in 1874, her mother's stroke in 1875, her nephew Gib's death at age eight in 1883, Otis Lord's death in 1884, Helen Hunt Jackson's death in 1885.
If you will give me permission I will copy them—sending them in my own handwriting—and promise never to tell any one, not even the publishers, whose the poems are. only you and I would recognize the poems." (L573a)1878), though whether Dickinson actually gave advance permission is still in question.
In her later years, Dickinson enjoyed a romance with Judge Otis Phillips Lord, a friend of her father.
Early Dickinson biographers identified Gould as a suitor who may have been briefly engaged to the poet in the 1850s, and recent scholarship has shed new light on the theory (Andrews, pp. Her female friendships, notably with schoolmate and later sister-in-law Susan Huntington Gilbert and with mutual friend Catherine Scott Turner Anthon, have also interested Dickinson biographers, who argue whether these friendships represent typical nineteenth-century girlhood friendships or more intensely sexual relationships.