Essays and Journals [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 23 (2):345-345 (1969)


A large and fully representative edition of Emerson's most important and most penetrating prose. "The American Scholar" and the "Divinity School Address" plus essays on History, Self-Reliance, Love, Heroism, Art, The Over-Soul, The Poet, Character, Manners, Nature, Politics to name only a few. Parts from "The Conduct of Life," and from English Traits. The longer essays on Domestic Life, Plato, Thoreau, and Lincoln. The fifty pages of excerpts from Emerson's Journals are one of the most interesting features of this edition. There is none of Emerson's poetry except what he placed at the beginning of some of the essays. There is a concise, informative, biographical introduction by Mumford who paints an unhealthy and shy, "cold but fiery" Emerson who nonetheless, through his writings, was a giant on the forefront of the new thinking and changing attitudes of his time. There is no critical apparatus or bibliographical information, but with the introduction the book is an effective and ample reader.--S. O. E.

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