Biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson


Emerson, Ralph Waldo. An American poet and prose writer. Emerson was born in Boston in 1803. He graduated at Harvard in 1821; for five years he taught in a school. In 1829 Emerson became minister of a Unitarian church in Boston, but in 1832 resigned his charge. He spent the greater part of 1833 in Europe, and on his return began his career as a lecturer on various subjects, in which capacity he acted for many years. In 1834 he took up his permanent residence at Concord, MA, and in 1836 published a small volume called "Nature." He was one of the original editors of the "Dial," a transcendental magazine begun in 1840. Two volumes of his essays were published in 1841 and 1844, and his poems in 1846. His miscellaneous addresses had been published in England in 1844 and, on visiting Great Britain in 1847, he was welcomed by a large circle of admirers. In 1850 he published "Representative Men," "English Traits" (1856), "The Conduct of Life" (1860), "May Day and Other Poems" (1869), "Society and Solitude" (1870), "Parnassus" (a collection of poems, 1874), "Letters and Social Aims" (1875). Emerson showed certain similarities with Carlyle, of whom he was a friend and correspondent. Their correspondence appeared in 1883. He was one of the most original and influential writers that the United States has produced. Died 1882.