Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a famous American essayist and poet. Through his life he faced many conflicts such as his career. He was one of America’s most influential authors and thinkers. Before Emerson began to write he was a minister. Emerson had to deal with many things throughout his life for example his health and family problems.
Ralph Emerson had a very frustrating childhood. Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the second of five sons. Poverty and sickness marked Emerson’s life. His father died when hi was eight years old. Which left his mother to raise five boys. One of his younger brothers was mentally ill and spent most of his life in institutions. Until Emerson was 30 he suffered from poor health.
When Emerson started school he studied ministry. He attended Harvard until he graduated in 1821 at age 18. After graduating he taught school and entered Harvard Divinity School. The next year he was sanctified to preach by the Middlesex Association of Ministers. Despite his poor health he did occasional sermons. In 1829 he served as a “supply” preacher around the Boston area.
In 1828 Emerson met a woman named Ellen Tucker who inspired him. The next year they were married. She fell ill and died of tuberculosis in 1832. That year he resigned from ministry because he had personal doubts about administering the sacrament. In 1833 Emerson traveled to Europe for a year. While in England he met Walter Savage, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas Carlyle, and William Wordsworth.
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Meeting with Carlyle marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship and influenced his work. During the summer of 1834 he moved to Concord and soon began his career as a writer and lecturer.
Later in Emerson’s life he became the leader of the transcendentalism movement. Which was the existence of an ideal spiritual reality that transcends the empirical and scientific and is knowable through intuition. In 1836 Emerson’s writing career truly evolved when his first book called “Nature” was published. During 1840 through 1844 he worked as an editor for The Dial. During those years his first son Waldo died and Emerson wrote one of his finest poems “Threnody” in memory of his son. Throughout the rest of his life he wrote many famous poems, books, essays, and gave numerous lectures. Then in 1882 Emerson fell ill again and died at age 78.
In conclusion Emerson had a tough life and had to deal with many problems. Although he had a rough life he is still a very inspirational author.