Only fifteen manuscripts in Dickinson’s hand survive from their correspondence, most in draft or fragmentary form.
Some passages seem to suggest that Dickinson and Lord contemplated marrying.
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.
Dickinson’s school days and young adulthood included several significant male friends, among them Benjamin Newton, a law student in her father’s office; Henry Vaughn Emmons, an Amherst College student; and George Gould, an Amherst College classmate of the poet’s brother Austin.He and his wife had been frequent guests at the Homestead.A widower when he began courting Emily Dickinson, Lord lived in Salem, Massachusetts.In 1859 Lord was appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court and later served on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (1875-1882).His relationship with the poet developed after the death of Elizabeth Lord in 1877.