Ralph Waldo Emerson: Father of American Transcendentalism
Web posted on: Monday, May 25, 1998 3:36:40 PM EDT
(CNN) -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of America's foremost authors and thinkers, was born on May 25, 1803 in Boston.
After settling in Concord, Emerson formed a circle of friends that included writers Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne and A.B. Alcott. With Emerson's influence, Concorde became a center of the philosophy of Transcendentalism.
His first published work, "Nature" (1839), contained seeds of his developing belief in man's unity with the natural surroundings.
Emerson's often quoted essay, "Self Reliance" (1841), offered man the reality of becoming unattached to convention: "The virtue in most requests is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs."
Emerson died in 1882 in Boston.
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