25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A revelation of the man.,
This review is from: Emerson: The Mind on Fire (Hardcover)
Once I started reading this book I could not stop for very long. It was so good I did not want it to end. This book traces Emerson's intellectual and spiritual path in such great detail that it enables the reader to further investigate Emerson's sources if he or she so chooses. The biographical information was quite complete as well. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Emerson or Transcendentalism. I noticed that Richardson has also written a biography of Thoreau and I will likely read it. This book represents a very high degree of scholarship and a great effort on the part of the author. I also greatly appreciated the photos of Emerson and the people close to him.
Personally, I would have liked to have seen a few more photos of his second wife and his children. I would have also liked to have learned how his wife managed after Emerson died and perhaps some information regarding his descendants. However, these are my own personal preferences and are in no way meant to diminish the excellence of this book.
The material is well structured into about 100 brief chapters which I thought made the reading easy. I never felt bogged down due to the length of the book. This is not a short book.
I really came away from the book with a sense of the man and an appreciation of the events and societal pressures of his time. After reading this book I think anyone familiar with Emerson's writings would feel like sitting down with the man to have a discussion to clear up a point or two.