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Nature and Selected Essays

ISBN-10: 014243762X
ISBN-13: 9780142437629
Edition: 2003
List price: $16.00 Buy it from $4.93
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Description: Through his writing and his own personal philosophy, Ralph Waldo Emerson unburdened his young country of Europe's traditional sense of history and showed Americans how to be creators of their own circumstances. His mandate, which called for harmony  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 5/27/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 416
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Through his writing and his own personal philosophy, Ralph Waldo Emerson unburdened his young country of Europe's traditional sense of history and showed Americans how to be creators of their own circumstances. His mandate, which called for harmony with, rather than the domestication of, nature, and for reliance on individual integrity, rather than on materialistic institutions, is echoed in many of the great American philosophical and literary works of his time and ours, and has given an impetus to modern political and social activism. Larzer Ziff's introduction to this collection of fifteen of Emerson's most significant writings provides the important backdrop to the society in which Emerson lived during his formative years. Book jacket.

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 due to pneumonia and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

Larzer Ziff is the author of a number of books on American literary culture, including Mark Twain; Return Passages: Great American Travel Writing, 1780–1910; and The American 1890s: Life and Times of a Lost Generation, which won the Christian Gauss Award. He has also edited modern editions of major American authors, including Franklin, Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, Emerson, Crane, and Dreiser. He was the first person to have been appointed to the English faculty of Oxford University for the purpose of teaching American literature. Presently Ziff is Caroline Donovan Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University.

Introduction
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text
Nature 1836
The American Scholar 1837
An Address Delivered Before the Senior Class in Divinity College, Cambridge 1838
Man the Reformer 1841
History (Essays, First Series) 1841
Self-Reliance (Essays, First Series) 1841
The Over-Soul (Essays, First Series) 1841
Circles (Essays, First Series) 1841
The Transcendentalist 1842
The Poet (Essays, Second Series) 1844
Experience (Essays, Second Series) 1844
Montaigne; Or, the Skeptic (Representative Men) 1850
Napoleon; Or, the Man of the World (Representative Men) 1850
Fate (The Conduct of Life) 1860
Thoreau 1862

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