William Emersona Unitarian minister. He was named after his mother's brother Ralph and his father's great-grandmother Rebecca Waldo. He first went to Charleston, South Carolinabut found the weather was still too cold. Augustine, Floridawhere he took long walks on the beach and began writing poetry.
Ralph Waldo Emerson American essayist and poet. Universally regarded as one of the most influential American writers of the nineteenth century, Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the founders of the Transcendental movement, a group of New England literary figures who believed deeply in the presence of the divine in human beings.
The Transcendentalists asserted that each individual must determine what is morally correct regardless of religious dogma, and Emerson's essays are regarded as some of the most important and commanding literary expressions of this philosophy.
In addition, Emerson is also widely regarded as one of the most effective architects of a distinctly American philosophy embracing optimism, individuality, and mysticism, and he is noted for his influence on such authors as Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Emily Dickinson.
Biographical Information Emerson was born in Boston to a long line of Unitarian ministers and it was there that he spent a sheltered childhood. He graduated from Harvard University intaught school in Boston for four years, and began attending Harvard Divinity School in The following year, he became a minister and was ordained pastor of Boston's Second Church in At this time he also married his first wife, Ellen Tucker, whose death in left Emerson with an inheritance that secured his financial future.
Despite his traditional academic career, Emerson was familiar with numerous modern religious influences, including ideas regarding Romantic subjectivity, a philosophy that was just then beginning to reach America from Europe.
Additionally, his years at Harvard had exposed him to the publications of the German Higher Critics, as well as translations of Hindu and Buddhist poetry. Thus, even while he assumed the pastorate of his church, Emerson brought with him many doubts concerning traditional Christian belief.
Unable to stem these growing misgivings, in Emerson resigned his position as pastor after expressing objections to the traditional meaning and function of the Communion ritual.
Following his resignation, Emerson spent the next year traveling in Europe, where he met such writers as William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Thomas Carlyle. During these years he also visited the botanical gardens at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, an experience he claimed inspired his interest in the mystical significance of nature.
He returned to America in and settled in Concord, Massachusetts, where he began his career as a lecturer.
He soon established his reputation as one of the most successful speakers on the country's new lyceum circuit. During the late s and early s Emerson published several works that presented his thought at its most idealistic and optimistic. His first published work, an essay entitled Naturerepudiated traditional religion, declaring nature to be the divine example of inspiration, as well as the source of boundless possibilities of human fulfillment.
This work in particular is believed to have helped found what would later become known as the Transcendental Club, a group of intellectuals that included Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller. Emerson frequently contributed poetry to the group's journal, the Dial, and later served as its editor.
It was also during this time that Emerson wrote and delivered two of his most important lectures: Emerson undertook a second journey to Europe inwhich included a lecture tour in England.Resources Selected Bibliography on Emerson. Note: Ralph Waldo Emerson: Portrait of a Balanced Soul.
New York: Oxford University Press, Note. Criticism and Collections. Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Collection of Critical Essays.
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Shop by category. Enter your search keyword Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Collection of Critical Essays by Buell, Lawrence. New (Other) $ Buy 2, get 1 . Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, – April 27, ) was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the midth century.
He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1, public lectures across Alma mater: Harvard Divinity School.
"Self-Reliance" is an essay written by American transcendentalist philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes: the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow their own instincts and ideas.
About Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. A classic collection of critical essays, poems, and letters from one of the greatest minds of nineteenth-century America. These collections of essays, selected and introduced by distinguished scholars, made the most informative and provocative critical work on each writer easily available to Author: Lawrence Buell.