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For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail? ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. ~Louis D.
His (first series) were published in 1841. Meanwhile, tragedy struck with the sudden death of his five-year old son Waldo in 1842, soon after the death of John Thoreau from lockjaw, and a darker, tougher strain appears in Emerson's writing, beginning with his memorializing poem, But Emerson pulled himself together to give a series of lectures in New York and in 1844 he had a prepared.
America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.
In his address, Emerson urged scholars to think beyond the limits of the classical curriculum, even beyond the physical boundaries of the College itself; to embrace an endless, rigorous pursuit of universal truth.
Life is a series of surprises. We do not guess to-daythe mood, the pleasure, the power of to-morrow, when weare building up our being. Of lower states, of acts ofroutine and sense, we can tell somewhat; but themasterpieces of God, the total growths and universalmovements of the soul, he hideth; they are incalculable.I can know that truth is divine and helpful; but how itshall help me I can have no guess, for so to be is thesole inlet of so to know. The new position of theadvancing man has all the powers of the old, yet hasthem all new. It carries in its bosom all the energiesof the past, yet is itself an exhalation of the morning.I cast away in this new moment all my once hoardedknowledge, as vacant and vain. Now, for the first timeseem I to know any thing rightly. The simplest words,wedo not know what they mean except when we love and aspire.
Local newspapers, such as the , admired his manner, but recoiled at his "expressions of pantheistic atheism." Nevertheless, there were some appreciative listeners, including members of the Philomathesian Society who voted unanimously to request Emerson's permission to publish his address, an offer which he refused (see the display, right).
This complete text of Essays, First Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson is in the public domain.
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Perhaps the most powerful personal influence on him for years was his intellectual, eccentric, and death-obsessed Puritanical aunt, Yet Emerson often confessed to an innate optimism, even occasional "silliness." His undergraduate career at Harvard was not illustrious, and his studies at the Harvard Divinity School were truncated by vision problems, but he was ordained a minister of the Second Church in Boston, shortly before marrying Ellen Tucker in 1829.
When Emerson died in 1882 he was the most famous public intellectual in America. This edition of the Complete Works includes all of Emersons poems, lectures, biographical sketches, letters, and his famous essays, several of which are here printed for the first time. Their "ethical inspiration and stimulation, their occasional startling phrase, their individualistic idealism, which stirred renascent Yankee New England to its depths, speaks with the same simple power and force in the midst of modern complexities" (Grolier, American 100 47).
Carte-de-visite of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Boldly signed by Ralph Waldo Emerson below the photograph. In near fine condition. Matted and framed. Rare.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was known first as an orator. Emerson converted many of his orations in to essays. A student of Emerson's essays will also want to study Emerson's since he often worked out in his journal entries ideas that later appear in his orations and essays.
Autographed letter signed by Ralph Waldo Emerson. The letter reads, “Concord 8 Feb. 1864 Dear Mrs. Botter, In obedience to your request send to me through my daughter, I enclose this paper. yours faithfully, R.W. Emerson.” Double matted and framed with a photograph of Emerson. The entire piece measures 14.5 inches by 17.5 inches. A very attractive piece.
The present edition provides for the first time an authoritative text of the , together with an introduction, notes, and supplementary material of great value for the study of Emerson’s creative processes. A list of hundreds of parallel passages in his earlier journals and lectures makes it possible to examine in detail how he drew upon those manuscripts (now published), especially the voluminous journals, as grist for the twelve essays. His subsequent alterations of the essays, particularly in the revised edition of 1847, give evidence of the evolution of his thought and style at this stage of his career. While the text incorporates his revisions, so as to represent his final intention, the earlier versions are given at the end of the book.