Emily Dickinson's Rich Conversation: Poetry, Philosophy, Science accounts for Dickinson's aesthetic and intellectual life. Her dialogue with Wordsworth's 'natural methodism,' Emerson's subject/object dynamic, Locke's rational empiricism, and Darwin's evolutionary biology substitutes faith in experience for the 'Experiential Faith' of her Anglo-American heritage. Yet her variation on realism, rather more tough-mindedly than her precursors and contemporaries in belles and bonnes lettres, keeps optimism and hope in play. Even the pre-Modern tone of her recurrent pessimism can participate in late-Romantic resilience and models survival through adaptation. Thus Dickinson speaks to all who would take heart from her watchword: 'Experiment escorts us last.'