Emily Dickinson gets another look, in a new web series from Apple. The coming-of-age story in “Dickinson” centers on the young poet’s fight to get her voice heard. 

Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Dickinson, courtesy Apple TV+


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The 10-episode drama is a comedic look into Dickinson’s world, told through her imaginative point of view. Each of the half-hour episodes will explore the constraints of 1800s society, gender, and family from the perspective of a budding writer who doesn’t fit into the Victorian era.

Dickinson (2019), courtesy Apple TV+

“Dickinson” – with its modern sensibility – is part of the first wave of original programming for Apple’s new streaming service, Apple TV Plus. From the looks of the trailer below, the series is aimed at the younger generation and may not appeal to purists, but the series has received some glowing reviews for it’s wit and intelligence. 





“Dickinson” was filmed in Old Bethpage, New York, and the first season of the period series premiered exclusively on Apple TV Plus in the fall of 2019, when the service launched. 

The 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson is played by 22 year old Hailee Steinfeld. Nominated for her performance in the 2010 remake of “True Grit” at the age of 14, Steinfeld also starred as Juliet in the 2013 adaptation of the classic story of the star crossed lovers. She’s also widely known from the “Pitch Perfect” movies.

Anna Baryshnikov (Good Girls Revolt) stars as Lavinia Dickinson, Emily’s younger sister. One of the most important people in her life, Dickinson described their bond as “early, earnest, indissoluble.” Newcomer Adrian Enscoe takes on the role of their older brother Austin Dickinson, the center of the household.

Toby Huss and Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson, courtesy Apple TV+

Toby Huss (Carnivàle) stars as Edward Dickinson, their autocratic and civic-minded father, and Jane Krakowski (A Christmas Carol: The Musical) as their homemaking mother Mrs. Emily Norcross Dickinson.

The role of Susan Gilbert, called the “most graceful woman in Western Massachusetts,” is played by Ella Hunt (Endeavour). Susan was a dear friend who would marry Austin, and serve as Emily’s editor.

Season 1 cast also includes Samuel Farnsworth, Chinaza Uche, Sophie Zucker.

A second season is in the works, with Finn Jones (Game of Thrones) and Pico Alexander joining the cast. Jones tales on the role of Samuel Bowles, a newspaper editor, and Alexander is cast as a boarder with the Dickinson family.  Gus Halper, Jane Krakowski, Toby Huss, Anna Baryshnikov, Ella Hunt, and Adrian Blake Enscoe also join for the second season.

Dickinson is created by Alena Smith, story editor and writer for the 2017 TV series “The Affair” starring Dominic West and Ruth Wilson.

Costumes are by Susan Antonelli (John Adams, The Knick), and Pete White (Mona Lisa Smile, Sherlock Holmes). 

Also of interest to period drama fans and part of the Apple TV Plus line-up at launch, is an adaptation of author Min Jin Lee’s historical novel Pachinko. Beginning in 1910 and spanning nearly 80 years, the big-budget, eight-episode miniseries begins with a story of forbidden love and follows a Korean family as they migrate to Japan, and live through war, peace, love, and loss.

The crime series “Defending Jacob,” which stars “Downton Abbey’s” Michelle Dockery, and a remake of the British comedy “Time Bandits” are part of the Apple TV Plus line-up. Additionally, an episode in Steven Spielberg’s anthology series “Amazing Stories” revolves around a time-traveling World War II pilot, and from “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight comes “See,” a 10-episode drama set in the future with “evil queens, brave heroes and thrilling adventure.”

Featuring original shows and movies across every genre, Apple TV+ is exclusively on the Apple TV app.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to see The Period Films List, with the best historical and costume dramas sorted by era. You’ll especially like the Best Period Dramas: Victorian Era list, and want to read the news about the new adaptation of Emma