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About the book
  • Published: 29 January 2014
  • ISBN: 9781585426423
  • Imprint: Tarcher
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $16.99

The Spiritual Emerson: Essential Works by Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Here is the heart of Emerson's spiritual thought for those readers who seek to understand the transformative quality of great ideas.

Here is the heart of Emerson's spiritual thought for those readers who seek to understand the transformative quality of great ideas.  Concise and suited to years of rereading and contemplation, The Spiritual Emerson traces the arc of the inner message brought by America's 'Yankee Mystic.'  Reading Emerson, writes philosopher Jacob Needleman in his introduction, 'can awaken a part of the psyche that our culture has suppressed.'
More than a handy volume of Emerson's landmark works, The Spiritual Emerson also includes overlooked classics, such as 'Fate' and 'Success,' which served as major sources of inspiration to some of the most influential American metaphysical thinkers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Each of the book's selections is drawn from authoritative final editions that were corrected by Emerson himself.  The introduction by religious scholar and philosopher Needleman explores the hope and power found within Emerson's thought - and why its meaning is so deeply felt by readers today.
'Be, and not seem.'  Ralph Waldo Emerson
 

  • Pub date: 29 January 2014
  • ISBN: 9781585426423
  • Imprint: Tarcher
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $16.99

About the Author

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Date: 2013-08-06
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803­-1882) was a renowned lecturer and writer, whose ideas on philosophy, religion, and literature influenced many writers, including Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman. After an undergraduate career at Harvard, he studied at Harvard Divinity School and became an ordained minister, continuing a long line of ministers in his family. He traveled widely and lectured, and became well known for his publications Essays and Nature.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the son of a Unitarian minister and a chaplain during the American Revolution, was born in 1803 in Boston. He attended the Boston Latin School, and in 1817 entered Harvard, graduating in 1820. Emerson supported himself as a schoolteacher from 1821-26. In 1826 he was 'approbated to preach,' and in 1829 became pastor of the Scond Church (Unitarian) in Boston. That same year he married Ellen Louise Tucker, who was to die of tuberculosis only seventeen months later.

In 1832 Emerson resigned his pastorate and traveled to Eurpe, where he met Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Carlyle. He settled in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1834, where he began a new career as a public lecturer, and married Lydia Jackson a year later. A group that gathered around Emerson in Concord came to be known as 'the Concord school,' and included Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller.

Every year Emerson made a lecture tour; and these lectures were the source of most of his essays. Nature (1836), his first published work, contained the essence of his transcendental philosophy, which views the world of phenomena as a sort of symbol of the inner life and emphasizes individual freedom and self-reliance. Emerson's address to the Phi Beta Kappa society of Harvard (1837) and another address to the graduating class of the Harvard Divinity School (1838) applied his doctrine to the scholar and the clergyman, provoking sharp controversy. An ardent abolitionist, Emerson lectured and wrote widely against slavery from the 1840's through the Civil War.

His principal publications include two volumes of Essays (1841, 1844), Poems (1847), Representative Men (1850), The Conduct of Life (1860), and Society and Solitude (1870). He died of pneumonia in 1882 and was buried in Concord.

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