There is very little known about Emily Elizabeth Dickinson's personal life. During her 56 years she socialized with almost no one outside of her immediate family and a very small group of close friends. Only seven of her poems were published during her lifetime, they were published without her permission and the ones that reached the public were published anonymous. Her life got no significant attention until some of her poetry was published four years after her death.
Emily Dickinson was born and lived in Amherst, Massachusetts. She was born on December 10, 1830. She was the second of three children born to Edward and Emily Dickinson. Edward received his law degree from Yale University and was one of Amherst's most highly regarded community leaders and one of it's leading attorneys. He served in the Massachusetts State Senate, the United States House of Representatives and was both the treasurer and attorney of Amherst College. He was a very religious, hardworking man and was also a strict father figure. Edward tried to keep Emily away from books that would "joggle" her mind, especially her religious faith. He died in 1874.
Emily's mother, Emily Norcross, was a quiet woman. Her daughter wrote of her mother that she "trembled, obeyed and was silent" when her father spoke. Another comment she made of her mother was, "Mother does not care for thought," suggesting that she was not very intelligent. Mrs. Dickinson was very active in the Amherst community but no leadership roles like her husband. She was best known for winning numerous cooking awards and recognition for her outstanding produce. She died in 1882 after a seven-year illness during which her daughters nursed her at home.
Emily received a lot more education than what was usual for a female at that time. It's most likely because she was the daughter of a highly successful attorney who was involved with local and state politics.