Bingham, Millicent

Bingham, Millicent (Todd)

(1880–1968) geographer, litterateur; born in Washington, D.C. Even before taking her Ph.D. at Harvard (1923), she had traveled widely (her father, David Peck Todd, was a prominent astronomer whose work took him abroad), published Peru, Land of Contrasts (1914), and translated Blanchard's Geography of France (1919). Her interest in urban geography later led to her translation of Vidal de la Blanche's Principles of Human Geography (1926). After her marriage to the noted psychologist, Walter Van Dyke Bingham (1920), she spent summers on a family-owned island in Maine where, in 1936, they allowed the Audubon Society to establish the first camp for adult conservation leaders. Meanwhile, her mother, Mabel Loomis Todd, had long since taken the lead in publishing the poetry and letters of Emily Dickinson (with whose brother, William Austin, she had carried on a secret affair); in the 1930s, Millicent Bingham shifted her interest to the life and work of Dickinson, and became an authority on her, publishing Ancestors' Brocades: The Literary Debut of Emily Dickinson in 1945.