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Emerson: Essays and Lectures: Nature: Addresses and Lectures / Essays: First and Second Series / Representative Men / English Traits / The Conduct of Life (Library of America) Hardcover – November 15, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0940450158 ISBN-10: 0940450151

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Emerson: Essays and Lectures: Nature: Addresses and Lectures / Essays: First and Second Series / Representative Men / English Traits / The Conduct of Life (Library of America) + Henry David Thoreau : Collected Essays and Poems (Library of America) + Henry David Thoreau : A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers / Walden; Or, Life in the Woods / The Maine Woods / Cape Cod (Library of America)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1150 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America (November 15, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940450151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940450158
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Library of America is an award-winning, nonprofit program dedicated to publishing America's best and most significant writing in handsome, enduring volumes, featuring authoritative texts. Hailed as "the most important book-publishing project in the nation's history" (Newsweek), this acclaimed series is restoring America's literary heritage in "the finest-looking, longest-lasting edition ever made" (New Republic).

About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 22 customer reviews
The pages are of a fine quality, print is a nice font.
MATT
If this seems somewhat contradictory coming from Emerson, you need only read a few pages further and Emerson will set you straight on contrariety.
Daniel Fineberg
This volume contains all the lectures and essays of the great transcendentalist writer/philosopher/poet Ralph Waldo Emerson.
drohan00

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 99 people found the following review helpful By John Rael on March 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is the complete essays and lectures of ralph waldo emerson. It contains everything you could want from emerson, save his journals. His writing is beauty in it's truest form. What he speaks is what you have forever felt to be true. When he warns against self-distrust in self-reliance you feel that he is not only speaking to you, but speaking for you. Reading this book is not only seeing what he has written, but is a demonstration of what he has written. When he writes in "self-reliance" of the reoccuring situation where people have to take their truth from another, the medium becomes the message. Emerson's work as presented in this volume has been under rated by philisophical circles for years. Here you will see that not only is he a great essayist, but that (while unconventional)he is a great philosopher.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Lapins on October 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Emerson is to the literary world in America as Lincoln was to the political world in the 1860's. His stature as a thinker, writer and public figure to admire brought American literature to new heights.

I think Thoreau has more relevance to us in the year 2004, and had profounder insights, but Emerson, more the academic and intellectual, wrote with the elegance and intelligence of the gods. He was much superior to Thoreau in style and breadth of subject matter, he was more well-rounded and able to connect with his peers, both personally and as an author. And through this intimate friendship and association shared by Emerson and Thoreau, and any literary and intellectual comparison made between these two men, only serves to enhance and expand the other's significance and genius. For me there was an integration and balance, a synergy, almost a partnership, in how they contributed to American literature and the intellectual community.

This collection is a beautiful addition to my library. It contains Emerson's major essays e.g. 'Nature,' 'Beauty,' 'Compensation,' 'Self-Reliance,' and 'The Poet' and his public addresses e.g. 'The American Scholar,' (a big favorite of mine.)

This is a quality collection at a reasonable price. I was actually concerned that the quality might suffer because I thought the price so low. But it was not compromised. Both Emerson and this collection should be in your library. Highly recommended.
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62 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Fineberg on November 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I go about the process of reading with a pencil or a pen, underlining now and then when I'm struck by something. Opening this very generous volume of Emerson's writings, I found myself underlining every sentence, every word, so that by the second or third page, I just gave up and made a mental note from then on to consider everything in the book as being underlined. Whoever you are and wherever you are (yes, even if you're from the South, as Emerson could display a decidedly anti-Southern slant), you're sure to find something in his work--many things probably--that will stay with you indefinitely. The Emerson of "Self-Reliance"--genius as he is--is trying to alert each of us to our own genius. It is the ultimate "self-help" book. "A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages." If this seems somewhat contradictory coming from Emerson, you need only read a few pages further and Emerson will set you straight on contrariety.
Along with all these wonderful essays and lectures, this 1,300-page Library of America hardbound edition also has his astonishing book "The Conduct of Life" and assorted uncollected prose. Emerson also left behind a lifetime's worth of journals, which I've heard are equally great, and I very much look forward to poring over them in the future.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bati on August 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I think it is probably safe to assert that to read Emerson is to be forever indebted to him. His wording, his clearness of thought, his determination, his warmth... He has all the qualities one could ask for in a writer, and all one could ask for in a mentor. Nietzsche held Emerson's books the closest, and said they were above his praise; Borges added: "Whitman and Poe have overshadowed Emerson's glory, as inventors, as founders of cults; line by line, they are inferior to him." James, the very Whitman, Proust, Frost, have all also praised him sincerely. Judging from other reviews, the love for Emerson hasn't diminished, more than a century after his passing.

For those who are not familiar with his works, it should be noted that Emerson is, without a doubt, a very unique writer. I was surprised when I realized that there is more poetry in his philosophy than in most verse books, yet he is always lucid; and that his poems, although hued by an impressive depth of thought, remain always passionate. He was renown as a brilliant lecturer, and his essays have all the force and immediacy of the oral form. Few people are so rich in memorable aphorisms - one finds a treasure of a quote in every sentence: "A drop is a small ocean"; "We are not built like a ship to be tossed, but like a house to stand"; "Whoso be a man, must be a non conformist"; "Punishment is a fruit that unsuspected ripens within the pleasure which concealed it"...

This was one of the first books the Library of America ever published, and with good reason: Emerson's writings are a Library of America on their own. This volume contains most of his major works, with the usual LOA excellency: beautiful green-cloth binding, a silk-ribbon marker, clear, acid-free, bible-thin paper, a short chronology, and a few useful notes.
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More About the Author

There are few people as quoted and quotable as Ralph Waldo Emerson, founder of the transcendental movement and author of classic essays as Self-Reliance, Nature, and The American Scholar. Emerson began his career as a Unitarian minister and later put those oratory skills to move us toward a better society. More remains written on him than by him.
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Emerson: Essays and Lectures: Nature: Addresses and Lectures / Essays: First and Second Series / Representative Men / English Traits / The Conduct of Life (Library of America)
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