Emerson, Ralph Waldo

(1803-1882)
   Philosopher, was b. at Boston, Massachusetts. His f. was a minister there, who had become a Unitarian, and who d. in 1811, leaving a widow with six children, of whom Ralph, then aged 8, was the second. Mrs. E. was, however, a woman of energy, and by means of taking boarders managed to give all her sons a good education. E. entered Harvard in 1817 and, after passing through the usual course there, studied for the ministry, to which he was ordained in 1827, and settled over a congregation in his native city. There he remained until 1832, when he resigned, ostensibly on a difference of opinion with his brethren on the permanent nature of the Lord's Supper as a rite, but really on a radical change of view in regard to religion in general, expressed in the maxim that "the day of formal religion is past." About the same time he lost his young wife, and his health, which had never been robust, showed signs of failing. In search of recovery he visited Europe, where he met many eminent men and formed a life-long friendship with Carlyle. On his return in 1834 he settled at Concord, and took up lecturing. In 1836 he pub. Nature, a somewhat transcendental little book which, though containing much fine thought, did not appeal to a wide circle. The American Scholar followed in 1837. Two years previously he had entered into a second marriage. His influence as a thinker rapidly extended, he was regarded as the leader of the transcendentalists, and was one of the chief contributors to their organ, The Dial. The remainder of his life, though happy, busy, and influential, was singularly uneventful. In 1847 he paid a second visit to England, when he spent a week with Carlyle, and delivered a course of lectures in England and Scotland on "Representative Men," which he subsequently pub. English Traits appeared in 1856. In 1857 The Atlantic Monthly was started, and to it he became a frequent contributor. In 1874 he was nominated for the Lord Rectorship of the Univ. of Glasgow, but was defeated by Disraeli. He, however, regarded his nomination as the greatest honour of his life. After 1867 he wrote little. He d. on April 27, 1882. His works were coll. in 11 vols., and in addition to those above mentioned include Essays (two series), Conduct of Life, Society and Solitude, Natural History of Intellect, and Poems. The intellect of E. was subtle rather than robust, and suggestive rather than systematic. He wrote down the intuitions and suggestions of the moment, and was entirely careless as to whether these harmonised with previous statements. He was an original and stimulating thinker and writer, and wielded a style of much beauty and fascination. His religious views approached more nearly to Pantheism than to any other known system of belief. He was a man of singular elevation and purity of character.

Short biographical dictionary of English literature . . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo — born May 25, 1803, Boston, Mass., U.S. died April 27, 1882, Concord U.S. poet, essayist, and lecturer. Emerson graduated from Harvard University and was ordained a Unitarian minister in 1829. His questioning of traditional doctrine led him to… …   Universalium

  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo — (1803–82)    Philosopher and Sect Founder.    Emerson was educated at Harvard University in the United States of America. Ordained into the Congregationalist ministry, he served for a time as a pastor in Boston. In 1832 he resigned his position… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo — ► (1803 82) Poeta estadounidense. Está considerado como el más eminente representante del transcendentalismo. Autor de Ensayos, Naturaleza y Hombres representativos. * * * (25 may. 1803, Boston, Mass., EE.UU.–27 abr. 1882, Concord). Poeta,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Emerson,Ralph Waldo — Em·er·son (ĕmʹər sən), Ralph Waldo. 1803 1882. American writer, philosopher, and central figure of American transcendentalism. His poems, orations, and especially his essays, such as Nature (1836), are regarded as landmarks in the development of… …   Universalium

  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo — (1803–1882) The son of a Unitarian clergyman, Emerson was born in Boston, and educated at Harvard. Although he studied philosophy extensively, he was not a critical or systematic thinker, but rather a channel for many religious, literary, and… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • EMERSON, RALPH WALDO —    an American philosophic thinker and poet, of English Puritan descent, born at Boston, where he started in life as a Unitarian preacher and pastor, an office he resigned in 1832 for literature, in which he found he would have freer and fuller… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo —  (1803–1882) American poet and essayist …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • EMERSON, Ralph Waldo — (1803 1882)    American essayist and leader of the TRANSCENDENTALIST movement. He was minister of the UNITARIAN SECOND CHURCH of Boston (1829 1832) but resigned over THEOLOGICAL issues to become an independent lecturer and writer. His PHILOSOPHY… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo —    см. Эмерсон, Ралф Уолдо …   Писатели США. Краткие творческие биографии

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Ralph Waldo Emerson …   Wikipedia Español

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