RALPH WALDO EMERSON by Ralph L. Rusk

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A comprehensive study of Emerson, by the scholar who edited the six volume Columbia University Press edition of Emerson's letters. Here is Emerson the philosopher, lecturer, essayist, teacher and poet, as well as a more intimate view of the man as husband and father and intellectual leader of the illustrious Concord group. Scholarly and precise, the portrait emerges from Emerson's journals, account books, personal letters. In appraisal of his works, Rusk draws on Emerson's contemporaries. Detailed biography:- his forebears, the backgrounds of his two wives, his relations with his gifted brothers and the formidable Mary Moody Emerson. The biography traces the various periods of his life,-the poverty of youth, the struggle for education, the mediocrity of his Harvard years, the search for a vocation, his first marriage which gave him financial independence; his second marriage and going to Concord to live where the years were marked by the full flowering of his genius. Transcendentalism -- his friendships in Concord -- in England; the influences brought to bear, the divergent elements that were harmonized in Emerson --all reviewed here. The austere New England moralist is almost impossible to bring to life in the written word, but for scholars this may well be a definitive biography.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1949
Publisher: Scribner