On this day in literary history from http://www.bloomsbury.com

Ralph Waldo Emerson dies 1882 in Concord, Massachusetts

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in 1803 and, unlike many of his literary
contemporaries, led a respectable, conventional life as a solid citizen,
lacking the excesses of Poe, the glamour of Hawthorne or the
adventurousness of Melville (who satirised him as a philosophical con man
in The Confidence Man). He was the son of a Unitarian minister but when
poverty struck after the death of his father he was heavily influenced by
an aunt who encouraged him to consider his deprivations an act of ecstatic
self-denial. He became a minister himself in his early twenties and
married Ellen Tucker, who died of tuberculosis early in the marriage. As
his interest in writing increased, he found that his natural form of
expression was the essay and his work focuses on the manner in which a
young America is attempting to discover its own intellectual identity. He
encouraged his countrymen to free their minds of history and look towards
the future, asserting that they were each responsible for their own
destinies. His most famous works are Nature (1836), Self Reliance (1841)
and Experience (1844) and his influence on subsequent generations of
American writers has been significant .

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