She is portrayed by Ella Hunt.
Sue grew up in 19th century Amherst, Massachusetts. She was close with the Dickinson family, Emily in particular who was her best friend and lover.
Throughout the Series
Sue and Emily are best friends and spend a significant amount of time together. They are both romantically interested in each other and have a physical relationship. Despite this, Sue gets engaged to Emily's brother, Austin, when he proposes.
Austin discovers Sue's relationship with Emily and Sue decides to flee to Boston to get some space from the two of them. However, upon hearing that Emily is sick, Sue decides to return to Amherst to see her. After Sue speaks with Emily, she makes the decision to marry Austin rather than being with Emily.
Sue soon finds out that she is pregnant, and as her mother died in childbirth she has both a fear of giving birth as well as an excitement surrounding it.
By the end of season 1, Sue marries Austin despite her and Emily still having obvious romantic feelings for each other.
In season 2, Sue and Austin have been married for a while and Sue is enjoying the luxuries of having money. She often has parties at her and Austin’s house, or is off at other people’s homes partying. Her biggest motivation is to have the best party, and for people to believe that she is a distinguished host. She is in a great deal of denial and pain during the season, after the baby she was pregnant with at the wedding in season 1 is lost.
Between seasons 1 and 2, Emily sent Sue hundreds of poems, and when Emily shows up to Sue’s party with ink on her face, asking her to tell her what she thought, Sue tries to deflect until admitting that she loved the poems and always does. However, she explains how they hurt her, and are sometimes painful to read, because Emily’s use of words is often heartbreaking and beautiful, especially after her miscarriage. After breaking down in front of Emily, Sue pulls herself together and goes back to hosting, introducing Emily to Sam Bowles, editor and chief of the Springfield Republican.
Sue continuously pushes Emily towards Sam, trying to get her to publish her poems so that she isn’t her only reader anymore.
Sue and Austin’s marriage is falling apart, Sue wanting to spend their money and throw big grand parties, while Austin wants to settle down, have babies and be happily married.
In I'm Nobody! Who Are You?, it is revealed that Sue has been having an affair with Sam Bowles, much to Emily’s dismay, though Austin already knew about the affair.
While at church, at Jane Humphrey’s son’s christening, Sue decides to leave and go find Emily in her bedroom. The two have a heated argument, where Sue explains that Emily’s writing is too much for her alone, but then admits to loving her and sensing her in the library when she was having her affair with Sam. When Emily relaxes the tiniest bit, sue takes her chance and kisses her, turning into a heated make out session, then a shared bath, and ending in the green house, where Sue tells Emily that she only feels alive when she is with her and promises never to let go of her again.
At the beginning of season 3, it is revealed that Sue is heavily pregnant with Austin’s baby, however her and Emily are still in a secret as well as loving and committed relationship. Sue expresses how she wants to run away with Emily, and raise the baby together, however Emily does not feel the same.
Sue and Austin’s marriage has completely fallen, with Sue loving Emily and Austin having an affair with Jane Humphrey, as well as the fact he is often drunk and aggressive towards his family.
Emily stays by Sue’s side as she gives birth, Mrs. Dickinson as her midwife, until her baby boy is born. She doesn’t let anyone else hold him, and doesn’t trust anyone else alone with him, including Austin. The only person she lets see the baby is Emily, and she gets her to speak to him so he can learn her voice.
After Emily confesses her love for Sue, the two go to celebrate Mr. Dickinson’s birthday by doing a family singalong, until after when Sue critiques Emily’s poem and gives her advice on how to make it better. Austin comes in at this point, singing with Emily, before getting aggressive once again and crying out that he wants to divorce Sue. Sue is upset by this and runs to Emily’s room, where Emily finds her at her desk. Sue finds the letter that Emily wrote Higginson, the same poem that she gave to Sue. Betrayed, as Emily didn’t tell her, nor talk about her in the letter to him, Sue storms away, leaving Emily in her room, watching as her friend, lover and sister walks out, leaving her behind.
- Emily Dickinson - best friend, girlfriend/wife, sister in law
- Austin Dickinson - husband
- Sam Bowles -ex-lover
She has pale light skin and dark brown hair, that she often wears tied back. In season 1 she is constantly seen wearing black, in mourning. In season 2 you often dons more flamboyant, expensive dresses and head pieces and in season 3 she dresses similarly to the rest of the Dickinson family.
”If I don‘t marry Austin, I will literally starve to death.”
”do you need spectacles? Not at all, I actually have perfect vision. But don’t they make me look smart?”
”I love you! And I felt you in the library, because you’re always with me. I cant escape from you, because the only true thing I will ever feel, is my love for you”
”You’d be a terrible husband” [“how could you say that?”] “you have no practical skills. And you’re too small to fend off enemies,”
“This baby will be a Dickinson soon enough. Just, let him be a Gilbert for now,”