Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th 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 1,500 public lectures across the United States.

Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Following this ground-breaking work, he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence".

Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first, then revised them for print. His first two collections of essaysEssays: First Series and Essays: Second Series, published respectively in 1841 and 1844 – represent the core of his thinking, and include such well-known essays as Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet and Experience. Together with Nature, these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson's most fertile period.

Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson's "nature" was more philosophical than naturalistic: "Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul."

His essays remain among the linchpins of American thinking, and his work has greatly influenced the thinkers, writers and poets that have followed him. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man." Emerson is also well known as a mentor and friend of fellow Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau.

Read more about Ralph Waldo EmersonEarly Life, Family, and Education, Early Career, Literary Career and Transcendentalism, Civil War Years, Final Years and Death, Lifestyle and Beliefs, Legacy, Selected Works

Other articles related to "ralph waldo emerson, emerson, ralph":

Experience (Emerson)
... "Experience" is an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson ... In one passage, Emerson speaks out against the effort to over-intellectualize life - and particularly against experiments to create utopias, or ideal communities ... A wise and happy life, Emerson believes, requires a different attitude ...
List Of Organisms Named After Famous People
... Elijah Elysia manriquei – César Manrique Emersonella – Ralph Waldo Emerson Emersonia – Ralph Waldo Emerson Emersonopsis – Ralph Waldo Emerson Equus grevyi – Jules Grévy Eristalis alleni – Paul ...
Forbes Family - Genealogy - Ancestors in The United States
... (August 13, 1771 – 1831) Buried in Buenos Aires, Argentina Ralph Bennett Forbes, (August 1, 1773 – 1824) m. 1st to Florence Emerson, (1882–1906), m ... Dita Weber Helen Forbes, (1905–1911), (daughter of Gerrit Forbes and Florence Emerson) Edith Forbes, (1906-...), (daughter of Gerrit Forbes and Florence Emerson ...
Ralph Waldo Emerson - Selected Works
... See also category Works by Ralph Waldo Emerson Collections Essays First Series (1841) Essays Second Series (1844) Poems (1847) Nature Addresses and Lectures (1849) Representative ...
List Of Historic Houses In Massachusetts - Eastern Massachusetts - Middlesex County
... prior to 1691 Concord The Old Manse (Concord) – built by Ralph Waldo Emerson's grandfather Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorn wrote some of their work in the house 1770 Orchard House (Concord) – home of Louisa ...

Famous quotes by ralph waldo emerson:

    We are too civil to books. For a few golden sentences we will turn over and actually read a volume of four or five hundred pages.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    The moment the doctrine of the immortality is separately taught, man is already fallen. In the flowing of love, in the adoration of humility, there is no question of continuance. No inspired man ever asks this question, or condescends to these evidences. For the soul is true to itself, and the man in whom it is shed abroad cannot wander from the present, which is infinite, to a future which would be finite.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    Books are the best things, well used; abused, among the worst. What is the right use? What is the one end, which all means go to effect? They are for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book, than to be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    Do you see that kitten chasing so prettily her own tail? If you could look with her eyes, you might see her surrounded with hundreds of figures performing complex dramas, with tragic and comic issues, long conversations, many characters, many ups and downs of fate,—and meantime it is only puss and her tail.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    The American who has been confined, in his own country, to the sight of buildings designed after foreign models, is surprised on entering York Minster or St. Peter’s at Rome, by the feeling that these structures are imitations also,—faint copies of an invisible archetype.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)