Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 - 1882

portrait of Ralph Waldo Emerson
1847 photo by Southworth & Hawes, from the George Eastman House Collection
Ralph Waldo Emerson signature

Born: 25 May 1803, Boston, Massachusetts
Died: 27 April 1882, Concord, Massachusetts

The son of a Unitarian minister who died less than eight years after Emerson's birth, he was largely raised by his mother and other women in the family, notably his aunt Mary Moody Emerson. He entered Boston Latin School in 1812 and Harvard College in 1817. At Harvard he was Class Poet but otherwise undistinguished, graduating in the middle of his class. Now known as Waldo, he was a schoolmaster for four years before entering Harvard Divinity School in 1828. The next year he married and was called to serve as junior pastor at Boston Second Church. Following his wife's 1831 death he lost his faith in the divinity of Jesus, and then any faith in a specific god at all, so he left the ministry. He moved to Concord in 1834 and the next spring bought a home on Walden Pond. Throughout his life he was a prolific essayist and lecturer, the Transcendentalist movement coalesced around him, his work, and his intellectual friends. In 1845 Henry David Thoreau , one of that circle, built a cabin in the woods on Emerson's property in exchange for keeping an eye on Emerson's family when Emerson was traveling. In late 1871 Emerson began to lose his memory and suffer from aphasia, by the end of the decade he forgot his own name at times. In April of 1882 the Sage of Concord took a walk in the rain, contracted pneumonia, and died at home a week later.

Biography from Wikipedia and The Literature Network

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Quotes found : 434 — (15 per page, this is page 1 of 29) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Next

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