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Emerson
Author: Evelyn Barish

ISBN: 9780691604442
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 284
Published: 17 December 1989
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.5
Description:


Evelyn Barish began this book partly to inquire into a silence--Ralph Waldo Emerson's failure to discuss or mourn his father, who died when the boy was seven years old. As she probed the meaning of this loss, she found herself tracing the development of an American prophet, producing a detailed intellectual biography of Emerson's early years up to the writing of Nature. In the process she has painted a vivid picture of American society of the period and of Emerson's unusual family--including his aunt, Mary Moody Emerson, a brilliant and eccentric woman, who was described by Emerson as spinning at a higher velocity than all the other tops but who also rode around Concord in her shroud! In the years after the death of William Emerson, Mary Moody Emerson came to help her widowed sister-in-law, Ruth, rear her five sons and thus became a deep influence on the young Ralph Waldo. Barish reveals the complexities of the Emersons' family life, the preoccupations with death and questions of sexual identity in the Romantic fantasies that Emerson wrote as a youth, the emotional struggles of his student years at Harvard, and his private study of the unsettling ideas of the skeptical philos...

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