Five Fun Facts About Ralph Waldo Emerson

Continuing our celebration of American Literature, here are some interesting tidbits about Ralph Waldo Emerson.

1. Poet, philosopher, and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in 1803 in Boston. He led the Transcendentalist movement and wrote dozens of published essays, including "Nature" and "Self-Reliance," and delivered more than 1,500 lectures across the U.S.

Emerson's Home in Concord, MA (Photo by Karen Wojcik Berner)

2. After studying at Harvard, Ralph Waldo Emerson entered the ministry, but found himself unable to administer the sacraments in good conciousness after the death of his nineteen-year-old wife, Ellen. He left the church.

(Photo by Karen Wojcik Berner)

3. Nicknamed "The Sage of Concord," Ralph Waldo Emerson surmised that intuition was the only way to comprehend reality.

4. Ralph Waldo Emerson owned the Walden property upon which Henry David Thoreau built his cabin.

Emerson's grave in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (Photo by Karen Wojcik Berner)

5. “My life is not an apology, but a life. It is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Dear readers, what is your favorite Emerson quote?


Leah Griffith said…
Karen, I love when you post snippets...little treasure bits for us to feast on. My favorite quote is the one you just quoted!

I lived in MA for 33 years and never explored the literary history. You have inspired me to place it on my bucket list for things to do before I die.
Thanks, Leah. Concord really is a great literary place!
Anonymous said…
"The thunderbolt falls on an inch of ground, but the light of it fills the horizon." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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