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Concord, Massachusetts American author, minister, and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the most thought-provoking American cultural leaders of the mid-nineteenth century.
He represented a minority of Americans with his unconventional ideas and actions, but by the end of his life many considered him to be a wise person.
His father was an important Boston minister. Young Emerson was only eight, however, when his father died and left the family to face hard times.
His mother ran a boarding-house to support the family, which consisted of six children.
The poverty in which the Emerson family lived did not prevent his mother from sending the promising boy to the Boston Latin School, where he received the best education of his time.
Inat age fourteen, he entered Harvard College. As a student, he studied more and relaxed less than some of his classmates. He won several minor prizes for his writing.
When he was seventeen, he started keeping a journal and continued it for over half a century. Unitarian minister Emerson was slow in finding himself. After graduation from Harvard inhe took a job as a teacher. Gradually he moved toward the ministry.
He studied at the Harvard Divinity School, meanwhile continuing his journal and other writings. In he began his career as a Unitarian minister. Emerson received several offers before an unusually attractive one presented itself: His reputation spread swiftly.
Soon he was chosen chaplain a clergyman who carries out religious services for institutions of the Massachusetts Senate, and he was elected to the Boston School Committee. Emerson's personal life flowered even more than his professional one, as he fell deeply in love, for the only time in his life, with a charming New Hampshire girl named Ellen Tucker.
Their wedding, in Septembermarked the start of a wonderful marriage. But it was all too short, for she died a year and a half later, leaving Emerson alone.
Though he tried to find comfort in his religion, he was unsuccessful. As a result he developed religious doubts. In September he resigned his pastorate.
According to his farewell sermon, he could no longer believe in celebrating Holy Communion. Emerson's decision to leave the ministry was more difficult than he thought, because it left him with no other work to do.
After months of struggling and even sickness, he scraped together enough money to take a ten-month tour of Europe. Professional lecturer The times were on Emerson's side, for he found on his return to America that a new tradition was emerging that held a unique promise for him.
This was the lyceum, a system of lecturing that started in the late s, established itself in the s, and rose to great popularity during the next two decades.
The local lecture clubs that sprang up discovered that they had to pay for the best lecturers, and from this he earned a modest salary. After a few seasons Emerson organized his own lecture Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Reproduced by permission of the Corbis Corporation. His lectures developed into essays and books, and he began publishing these in the early s.
Emerson's creed Emerson spoke out against materialism the belief that material or physical things—not spiritual—are the most importantformal religion, and slavery. Emerson spoke of slavery in the context of the Fugitive Slave Lawsaying, in one of his rare bursts of obscenity foul language"I will not obey it, by God.
He became America's leading transcendentalist a person who believes that reality is discovered through thought and not experience.
That is, he believed in a reality and a knowledge that rose above the everyday reality to which Americans were accustomed. He believed in the honesty of the person. He believed in a spiritual universe ruled by a spiritual Oversoul the basis of all spiritual existencewith which each individual soul should try to connect.
Touchingly enough, he believed in America. Though he ranked as his country's most searching critic, he helped as much as anyone to establish the "American identity.
In addition, he supported the cause of American music and American art.The Second Series, originally published in , contains the essays "Gift," "Nature," and "Politics," among others. A leader of the transcendentalist movement, Emerson focused his writing on celebrating the inherent beauty of the natural world and the importance of independence.
Read "Essays — First Series" by Ralph Waldo Emerson with Rakuten Kobo. THERE is one mind common to all individual men.
Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is onc.
Essays: Second Series, including "Experience," was issued in as the third volume of the Little Classic Edition of Emerson's writings, in as the third volume of the Riverside Edition, in as the third volume of the Centenary Edition, and in as the third volume of . Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, 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 the United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson (–) 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.
Essays: First Series, is a series of essays written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, published in , concerning transcendentalism. This book contains: "History" "Self-Reliance" "Compensation" "Spiritual Laws" "Love" "Friendship" "I hate the prostitution of the name of .