'"Shakespeare’s youth fell in a time when the English people were importunate for dramatic entertainments. The court took offense easily at political allusions, and attempted to suppress them. The Puritans, a growing and energetic party, and the religious among the Anglican Church, would suppress them. But the people wanted them. Inn-yards, houses without roofs, and extemporaneous inclosures at country fairs, were the ready theaters of strolling players. The people had tasted this new joy; and, as we could not hope to suppress newspapers now, - no, not by the strongest party, - neither then could king, prelate, or puritan, - alone or united, suppress an organ, which was ballad, epic, newspaper, caucus, lecture, Punch, and library, at the same time."
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson is one of the most influential thinkers in American history. His Transcendentalism preached a close communion with man and nature and is one of the great life-affirming philosophies of any age. As one of the architects of the transcendentalist movement, Emerson embraced a philosophy that championed the individual, emphasized independent thought, and prized "the splendid labyrinth of one's own perceptions." More than any writer of his time, he forged a style distinct from his European predecessors and embodied and defined what it meant to be an American. Matthew Arnold called Emerson's essays "the most important work done in prose."
"I was simmering, simmering, simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil."
– Walt Whitman
About Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Published July 19, 2004
by Athena University Press.
Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction.