“A signal event, providing a more accurate delineation of the development of Emerson’s thought in his last three productive decades . . . Certainly the Later Lectures will enrich and accelerate the discourse about Emerson at mid-century, alter our map of his intellectual development, and augment our understanding of his cultural significance."
—American Literary Scholarship
"A splendid edition of a major writer's work, an edition that is already changing the landscape of Emerson scholarship. . . . Throughout, these new texts force us to recognize that Emerson is even more complicated than we had realized; that his career cannot be neatly divided between an early, idealist, "transcendentalist" period and later years of skepticism, naturalism, pragmatism, and decline; and that his faith in the power of thought whose roots are ultimately spiritual continued unabated to the end of his long career."
Drawing primarily from previously unpublished manuscripts in the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association Collection in the Houghton Library at Harvard University, recent editions of Emerson’s correspondence, journals and notebooks, sermons, and early lectures have provided authoritative texts that inspire readers to consider Emerson’s place in American culture afresh. The two-volume Later Lectures of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1843–1871, presents the texts of forty-eight complete and unpublished lectures delivered during the crucial middle years of Emerson’s career. They offer his thoughts on New England and “Old World” history and culture, poetic theory, education, the history and uses of intellect—as well as his ideas on race relations and women’s rights, subjects that sparked many debates. These final volumes contain some of Emerson’s most timelessly relevant work and are sure to engage and inform any reader interested in discovering one of our country’s greatest intellectuals.
The following sections, although appearing only in the volume designated, contain information that pertains to both volumes and are available on the University of Georgia Press website.
Volume 1: 1843–1854 contains:
Volume 2: 1855–1871 contains:
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