Official Blog of Author MICHAEL THOMAS BARRY.
A blog which discusses varied topics that are related to the authors many books. Michael is a columnist for CrimeMagazine.com and a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Ralph Waldo Emerson Met Thomas Carlyle (August 26, 1838)
On this day in American literary history – August 26, 1838,
Ralph Waldo Emerson was first introduced to influential British writer Thomas
Carlyle, with whom he would correspond for nearly four decades. Carlyle and the writing of the English romantic poets
would have a great influence on Emerson's work. He was born on May 25, 1803 in
Boston and came from a long line of American ministers. He enjoyed a sheltered
childhood and attended Harvard Divinity School. Although he accepted a position
as pastor of a Boston Church in 1829, the death of his wife in 1831 deepened
his existing religious doubts. He resigned two years later, explaining to his
congregation that he had started to doubt the sacraments.
Emerson moved to Concord, then set off for Europe where he met
leading writers and thinkers of the day. During a visit to a Paris botanical
garden, he decided to become a "naturalist." In 1836, he published an
anonymous booklet called Nature,
which questioned traditional concepts of God and environment. Influenced by
Hindu texts and English Romanticism, he argued that man can rise above the
material world and discover a sense of transcendent spirituality. Nature
defined the philosophy that would inform his future essays, lectures and
poetry. He championed individual spirit, instinct and intellect over
traditional religion, education and thought.
In the 1840s, he joined the Transcendentalist movement,
and founded The Dial, with Margaret
Fuller. His two volumes of essays, published in 1841 and 1844, including "Self
Reliance," made him world famous. His 1847 poetry collection, May-Day and Other Pieces included
"Concord Hymn," about the battle of Concord which included the famous
line "the shot heard round the world." In Representative Men (1850), he wrote sketches of his role models including
Napoleon and Shakespeare. Emerson's later work became less idealistic and more
pragmatic. In The Conduct of Life,
considered by some critics to be his most mature work, he takes a
compassionate, philosophic approach to human frailty. He died in Concord on
April 27, 1882, at the age of 78 and was buried on Poets Ridge within Sleepy
Hollow Cemetery, near other famous writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa
May Alcott and Henry David Thoreau.
Michael Thomas Barry is the award winning author of
numerous books that include the soon to be released America’s Literary Legends: The Lives and Burial Places of 50 Great
Writers. Visit Michael’s website www.michaelthomasbarry.com
for more information. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the link
below and other fine books sellers.