Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, poet, and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the middle of the nineteenth century. He is most known for his essays on Nature and Self-Reliance. Emerson was also a mentor and friend of fellow Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau.
The Armstrong Browning Library owns three letters written by Emerson. Ninety Emerson books, some rare editions or editions inscribed by Emerson himself, also belong to the library’s holdings. Emerson’s Poems (1884), owned by Robert Browning, is part of the Browning Collection at the ABL. The volume belonged to Robert Browning and contains his signature on the second fly-leaf.
Ralph Waldo Emerson. Poems. New and rev. ed. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co, 1884.
Emerson invites Edmund Quincy, a famous abolitionist, and his friends Mr. and Mrs. Langel to visit.
We will give you a little dinner at 1,’oc & show you meadows & ponds.
This volume is inscribed by Emerson, “Lucy C. Brown, with the grateful regards of R.W.E. 1848.”
Emerson’s address outraged the Protestant community by discounting the miracles of the Bible and questioning the deity of Christ. He was not invited to speak at Harvard for thirty years. This volume bears the inscription on the cover: “/with the affectionate regards of/R.W.E.” Dewey was an American Unitarian minister.