Some have argued that the beginning of her so-called reclusiveness can be seen in her frequent mentions of homesickness in her letters, but in no case do the letters suggest that her regular activities were disrupted.
Other girls from Amherst were among her friends—particularly Jane Humphrey, who had lived with the Dickinsons while attending Amherst Academy.
Dickinson assembled these booklets by folding and sewing five or six sheets of stationery paper and copying what seem to be final versions of poems. The school prided itself on its connection with Amherst College, offering students regular attendance at college lectures in all the principal subjects— astronomy, botany, chemistry, geology, mathematics, natural history, natural philosophy, and zoology.
She carefully selected her society and controlled the disposal of her time Her brother, William Austin Dickinson, had preceded her by a year and a half.
On November 30,her feebleness and other symptoms were so worrying that Austin canceled a trip to Boston. The holiday is celebrated with candles, flowers, and an offering of prayers for departed relatives.
Dickinson attributed the decision to her father, but she said nothing further about his reasoning.
While it is certain that he was an important figure in her life, it is not clear that their relationship was romantic—she called him "my closest earthly friend. As Dickinson had predicted, their paths diverged, but the letters and poems continued.