Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks: 1866-1882

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Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1982 - Biography & Autobiography - 632 pages
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The final volume of the Harvard edition presents the journals of Emerson's last years. In them, he reacts to the changing America of the post-Civil War years, commenting on Reconstruction, immigration, protectionism in trade, and the dangers of huge fortunes in few hands--as well as on baseball and the possibilities of air travel. His role as a Harvard Overseer evokes his thoughts on education during crucial years of reform in American universities. His travels take him to Europe for the third time, and for the first time he encounters the new garden of California and the enigma of Egypt. He continues to lecture, and a second volume of poems and two more collections of essays, culled from his manuscripts, are published. Finally, his late journals show Emerson confronting his loss of creative vigor, husbanding his powers, and maintaining his equanimity in the face of decline. This concluding volume thus gives a complex picture of Emerson in his last sixteen years, facing old age but still the advocate of "newness" throughout the world.

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Contents

NY
97
THE TEXTS OF THE MISCELLANEOUS NOTEBOOKS
325
Pocket Diary 17
347
Copyright

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About the author (1982)

Known primarily as the leader of the philosophical movement transcendentalism, which stresses the ties of humans to nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and essayist, was born in Boston in 1803. From a long line of religious leaders, Emerson became the minister of the Second Church (Unitarian) in 1829. He left the church in 1832 because of profound differences in interpretation and doubts about church doctrine. He visited England and met with British writers and philosophers. It was during this first excursion abroad that Emerson formulated his ideas for Self-Reliance. He returned to the United States in 1833 and settled in Concord, Massachusetts. He began lecturing in Boston. His first book, Nature (1836), published anonymously, detailed his belief and has come to be regarded as his most significant original work on the essence of his philosophy of transcendentalism. The first volume of Essays (1841) contained some of Emerson's most popular works, including the renowned Self-Reliance. Emerson befriended and influenced a number of American authors including Henry David Thoreau. It was Emerson's practice of keeping a journal that inspired Thoreau to do the same and set the stage for Thoreau's experiences at Walden Pond. Emerson married twice (his first wife Ellen died in 1831 of tuberculosis) and had four children (two boys and two girls) with his second wife, Lydia. His first born, Waldo, died at age six. Emerson died in Concord on April 27, 1882 at the age of 78 and is buried in Sleepy Hollow.

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