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She also excelled in other subjects emphasized by the school, most notably Latin and the sciences.
A class in botany inspired her to assemble an herbarium containing a large number of pressed plants identified by their Latin names.
Among them are two of the burlesque “Valentines”—the exuberantly inventive expressions of affection and esteem she sent to friends of her youth.
Yet she seems to have retained a belief in the soul’s immortality or at least to have transmuted it into a Romantic quest for the transcendent and absolute.
One reason her mature religious views elude specification is that she took no interest in creedal or doctrinal definition.
She freely ignored the usual rules of versification and even of grammar, and in the intellectual content of her work she likewise proved exceptionally bold and original.
Her verse is distinguished by its epigrammatic compression, haunting personal voice, enigmatic brilliance, and lack of high polish.Sent to her brother, Austin, or to friends of her own sex, especially Abiah Root, Jane Humphrey, and Susan Gilbert (who would marry Austin), these generous communications overflow with humour, anecdote, invention, and sombre reflection.