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Selected Bibliography on Emerson

  • Bryer, Jackson R. and Robert A. Rees. A Checklist of Emerson Criticism 1951-1961. Hartford: Transcendental Books, 1964. Summary: This bibliography provides a comprehensive list of critical works on Emerson published between 1951 and 1961.
  • Burkholder, Robert E. and Joel Myerson. Emerson: An Annotated Secondary Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985. Summary: This bibliography offers an annotated list of secondary sources on Emerson, including books, articles, and dissertations.
  • Burkholder, Robert E. and Joel Myerson. Ralph Waldo Emerson: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism, 1980-1991. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1994. Summary: This bibliography provides a list of critical works on Emerson published between 1980 and 1991, with annotations for each entry.
  • Woodlief, Annette. “Emerson’s Prose: An Annotated Checklist of Literary Criticism Through 1976.” In Studies in the American Renaissance, 1978, pp. 105-160. Summary: Woodlief provides an annotated checklist of literary criticism on Emerson’s prose, covering works published through 1976.

Bibliographies

See also 

Biography

  • Allen, Gay Wilson. Waldo Emerson: A Biography. NY: Viking Press, 1981. Allen focuses on the events and influences that shaped Emerson’s life and career.
  • Barish, Evelyn. Emerson: The Roots of Prophecy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989. Barish explores the origins and development of Emerson’s thought, particularly his ideas about prophecy and transcendence.
  • Buell, Lawrence. Emerson. Cambridge: Belknap [Harvard] Press, 2003. Buell offers a comprehensive overview of the life and work of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Bufano, Randolf J. “Emerson’s Apprenticeship to Carlyle, 1827-1848.” American Transcendental Review. 13 (1972): 17-25. Bufano examines the relationship between Emerson and the philosopher Thomas Carlyle, and how it influenced Emerson’s thought.
  • Gonnaud, Maurice. An Uneasy Solitude. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987. Gonnaud focuses on the inner turmoil and self-doubt that Emerson experienced throughout his life.
  • Harris, Kenneth Marc. Carlyle and Emerson: Their Long Debate. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978. Harris explores the intellectual debate and exchange between Carlyle and Emerson.
  • McAleer, John. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Days of Encounter. Boston: Little, 1984. McAleer looks at key moments and relationships in Emerson’s life that had a significant impact on his development as a writer and thinker.
  • Porte, Joel. Emerson in His Journals. Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1982. Porte presents a selection of Emerson’s personal journals, offering insight into his innermost thoughts and experiences.
  • Slater, Joseph, ed. The Correspondence of Emerson and Carlyle. New York: Columbia University Press, 1964. This collection of letters exchanged between Emerson and Carlyle sheds light on their intellectual relationship and the development of their ideas.
  • Porte, Joel. Representative Man: Ralph Waldo Emerson in his Time. NY: Oxford University Press, 1978. Porte provides a detailed analysis of Emerson’s life and work, situating him within the context of his time period.
  • Richardson, Robert D. Emerson: The Mind on Fire: A Biography. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1995. Richardson offers a comprehensive biographical study of Emerson, exploring his life, career, and impact.
  • Robinson, David. Apostle of Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982. Robinson examines Emerson’s role as a leading figure in American culture and his influence on subsequent generations.
  • Rohler, Lloyd. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Preacher and Lecturer. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1995. Rohler focuses on Emerson’s career as a preacher and public speaker, and the impact of his ideas on his audiences.
  • Rusk, Ralph. The Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson. NY: Columbia University Press, 1957. Rusk provides a traditional biographical account of Emerson’s life and work.
  • Thurin, Erik Ingvar. The Universal Autobiography of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Lund, Sweden: C. W. K. Gleerup, 1974. Thurin presents a selection of Emerson’s personal writings, including his essays and journals, to offer a more intimate portrait of the man.
  • Wagenknecht, Edward. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Portrait of a Balanced Soul. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974. Wagenknecht offers a biographical study of Emerson that emphasizes his inner harmony and balance.

Criticism and Collections of R.W. Emerson’s Poetry along with a summary of each work

Buell, Lawrence. “Emerson’s Poetry.” In Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Lawrence Buell. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1993. Summary: In this essay, Buell discusses the themes, form, and style of Emerson’s poetry, as well as its place in the larger body of his work.

Carpenter, Frederic Ives. “Emerson’s Poetry.” In The Emerson Handbook, edited by Frederic Carpenter. New York: Hendricks House, 1953.Summary: Carpenter provides an overview of Emerson’s poetry, including its themes, style, and influences.

Field, Susan L. “The Poetry of Ralph Waldo Emerson.” In The Romance of Desire: Emerson’s Commitment to Incompletion. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1997. Summary: Field examines the ways in which Emerson’s poetry reflects his philosophical and spiritual beliefs, as well as his commitment to incomplete expression.

Garvey, T. Gregory, ed. “Emerson’s Poetry.” In The Emerson Dilemma: Essays on Emerson and Social Reform. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001. Summary: This collection of essays explores the social and political themes in Emerson’s poetry, as well as its place in the context of his overall thought and writing.

Ihrig, Mary Alice. “Emerson’s Poetry.” In Emerson’s Transcendental Vocabulary. New York: Garland, 1982. Summary: Ihrig discusses the language and imagery used in Emerson’s poetry, and how these elements reflect his transcend

 

Summary: In this essay, Oster explores the themes and style of Emerson’s poetry, with a focus on its relationship to his philosophical and spiritual beliefs.

Sealts, Merton M., Jr. “Emerson’s Poetry.” In The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, edited by Ralph L. Rusk. New York: Columbia University Press, 1939. Summary: Sealts provides a brief overview of Emerson’s poetry, including its themes and style, and its place in the context of his overall work.

Thurin, Erik Ingvar. “Emerson’s Poetry.” In The Universal Autobiography of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Lund, Sweden: C. W. K. Gleerup, 1974. Summary: Thurin examines the themes and style of Emerson’s poetry, and how it reflects his spiritual and philosophical beliefs.

Wagenknecht, Edward. “Emerson’s Poetry.” In Ralph Waldo Emerson: Portrait of a Balanced Soul. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974. Summary: Wagenknecht discusses the themes and style of Emerson’s poetry, and how it reflects his philosophical and spiritual beliefs.

Zwarg, Christina. “Emerson’s Poetry.” In Feminist Conversations: Fuller, Emerson, and the Play of Reading. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995. Summary: Zwarg examines the ways in which Emerson’s poetry engages with feminist themes and ideas, and how it reflects his views on gender and identity.

 

Criticism and Collections of R.W. Emerson, his Life & Work

  • Allen, Thomas M. “The Geological Revolution in American Time.” Conference on Temporal Politics. [http://epsilon3.georgetown.edu/~coventrm/asa2001/panel9/allen.html.] Summary: Allen discusses the geological revolution in American time as it relates to Emerson.
  • Anderson, John Q. The Liberating Gods. Coral Gables: Univ. of Miami P, 1971. Summary: Anderson explores the concept of the liberating gods in Emerson’s work.
  • Bishop, Jonathan. Emerson on the Soul. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1964. Portions reprinted in Sealts, pp. 140-44, and Konvitz, pp. 201-10. Summary: Bishop examines Emerson’s views on the soul.
  • Brown, Lee R. The Emerson Museum: Practical Romanticism and the Pursuit of the Whole. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1997. Summary: Brown discusses the role of the Emerson Museum in exploring practical romanticism and the pursuit of the whole.
  • Buell, Lawrence, editor. Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, NJ. 1993. Summary: This collection of critical essays edited by Buell includes a variety of perspectives on Emerson’s work.
  • Burkholder, Robert and Joel Myerson, eds. Critical Essays on Waldo Emerson. Boston: G.K. Hall and Co., 1983. Summary: This collection of critical essays edited by Burkholder and Myerson includes a range of perspectives on Emerson’s work.
  • Cady, E. H. and Louis Budd, eds. On Emerson. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 1988. Summary: This collection of essays edited by Cady and Budd focuses on Emerson’s work.
  • Carpenter, Frederic Ives. Emerson and Asia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1930. Summary: Carpenter discusses the influence of Asian philosophy on Emerson’s work.
  • Carpenter, Frederic. The Emerson Handbook. NY: Hendricks House, 1953. Summary: Carpenter provides a comprehensive overview of Emerson’s work in the Emerson Handbook.
  • Cavell, Stanley. Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome: The Constitution of Emersonian Perfectionism. Chicago: U Chicago P, 1990. Summary: Cavell examines the concept of Emersonian perfectionism and its relationship to the idea of the “handsome” and the “unhandsome.”
  • Cayton, Mary Kupiec. Emerson’s Emergence: Self and Society in the Transformation of New England, 1800-1845. Chapel Hill: UNC P, 1989. Summary: Cayton discusses the emergence of Emerson and the role of self and society in the transformation of New England in the early 19th century.
  • Cheyfitz, Eric, The Trans-Parent: Sexual Politics in the Language of Emerson. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1981. Summary: Cheyfitz explores the theme of sexual politics in Emerson’s language.
  • Donadio, Stephen, Stephen Railton, and Ormond Seavey. Emerson and His Legacy: Essays in Honor of Quentin Anderson. Carbondale: SIU P, 1986. Summary: This collection of essays, edited by Donadio, Railton, and Seavey, celebrates the legacy of Emerson and honors the work of Quentin Anderson.
  • Duncan, Jeffrey. The Power and Form of Emerson’s Thought. Charlottesville: U VA P, 1973. Summary: Duncan examines the power and form of Emerson’s thought.
  • Ellison, Julie K. Emerson’s Romantic Style. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1984. Summary: Ellison discusses the elements of romantic style in Emerson’s work.
  • Field, Susan L. The Romance of Desire: Emerson’s Commitment to Incompletion. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1997. Summary: Field explores the theme of desire and Emerson’s commitment to incompletion in his work.
  • Garvey, T. Gregory, ed. The Emerson Dilemma: Essays on Emerson and Social Reform. Athens: Uni of GA P, 2001. Summary: This collection of essays, edited by Garvey, examines the dilemma of Emerson’s views on social reform.
  • Geldard, Richard G. The Esoteric Emerson: The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Hudson, N.Y.: Lindisfarne Press, 1993. Summary: Geldard explores the spiritual and esoteric elements in Emerson’s thought and writing. 

  • Geldard, Richard G. God in Concord: Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Awakening to the Infinite. Burdett, N.Y.: Larson, 1999. Summary: In this book, Geldard focuses on Emerson’s spiritual awakening and how it shaped his understanding of the divine and the role of the individual in relation to the infinite.
  • Gelpi, Donald L. Endless Seeker: The Religious Quest of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1991. Summary: Gelpi examines the religious quest in Emerson’s work.
  • Gougeon, Len. Virtue’s Hero: Emerson, Antislavery, and Reform. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1990. Summary: Gougeon explores the theme of virtue and heroism in Emerson’s work, particularly in relation to his views on antislavery and reform.
  • Harris, Kenneth Marc. “Coleridge, Carlyle and Emerson.” Essays in Literature. Fall 89: 263-279. Summary: Harris compares and contrasts the work of Coleridge, Carlyle, and Emerson.
  • Hodder, Alan D. Emerson’s Rhetoric of Revelation: Nature, the Reader, and the Apocalypse Within. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1989. Summary: Hodder discusses the role of nature and the reader in Emerson’s rhetoric of revelation.
  • Hopkins, Vivian C. Spires of Form: A Study of Emerson’s Aesthetic Theory. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1951. Summary: Hopkins examines the aesthetic theory of Emerson, with a focus on the concept of form.
  • Hudnut, Robert K. The Aesthetics of Ralph Waldo Emerson: The Materials and Methods of His Poetry. Edwin Mellen Press, 1996. Summary: Hudnut explores the aesthetics of Emerson’s poetry, including the materials and methods he used.
  • Hughes, Gertrude Reif. Emerson’s Demanding Optimism Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984. Summary: Hughes examines the theme of optimism in Emerson’s work.
  • Hutch, Richard A. Emerson’s Optics: Biographical Process and the Dawn of Religious Leadership. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1983. Summary: Hutch discusses the relationship between Emerson’s biographical process and the development of his religious leadership.
  • Ihrig, Mary Alice. Emerson’s Transcendental Vocabulary. New York: Garland, 1982. Summary: Ihrig examines the use of transcendental vocabulary in Emerson’s work.
  • Jacobson, David. Emerson’s Pragmatic Vision: the Dance of the Eye. University Park: Penn State UP, 1993. Summary: Jacobson discusses the concept of Emerson’s pragmatic vision, with a focus on the role of the eye.
  • Johnson, George. “‘The Poet’ and the Poem: Emerson and the Poetics of Perfection.” College English. Vol. 43, No. 7 (Oct., 1981), pp. 717-726. Summary: Johnson discusses the concept of the “poet” in Emerson’s work, particularly in “The Poet,” and how this concept relates to the creation of poetry.
  • Kestenbaum, Victor. Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1984. Summary: Kestenbaum provides a comprehensive bibliography of Emerson’s work.
  • Kuklick, Bruce. “Emerson’s History of Science: A Context for His Philosophy of Nature.” In The Emerson Dilemma: Essays on Emerson and Social Reform, edited by T. Gregory Garvey, pp. 93-110. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001. Summary: Kuklick examines the influence of science and the history of science on Emerson’s philosophy of nature.
  • Kucich, John. The Power of Lies: Transgression in Victorian Fiction. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994. Summary: Kucich explores the theme of transgression in Victorian fiction, including the work of Emerson.
  • LaRocca, David. Emerson and the Orphic Poet in America. Berkeley: Univ of California P, 1978. Summary: LaRocca discusses the concept of the Orphic poet in Emerson’s work.
  • McAllister, Ward. Emerson’s Sublime Science. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972. Summary: McAllister examines the role of science in Emerson’s work, with a focus on the concept of the sublime.
  • McAlpin, Mary. Subject to Change: Reading Feminist Writing. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988. Summary: McAlpin discusses feminist writing, including the work of Emerson.
  • McWilliams, John P. Emerson and Self-Culture. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1960. Summary: McWilliams explores the concept of self-culture in Emerson’s work.
  • Mills, Bruce. From Pure Experience to Abstraction: an Aesthetics of the Primitive. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999. Summary: Mills discusses the relationship between pure experience and abstraction, including the work of Emerson.
  • Mott, Wesley T. The Youth and Manhood of Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York: Octagon Books, 1978. Summary: Mott examines the development of Emerson’s thought and writing from his youth to his manhood.
  • O’Connell, Dan. Emerson’s Ethics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971. Summary: O’Connell discusses the ethical themes in Emerson’s work.
  • Orgel, Stephen. The Illusion of Power: Political Theater in the English Renaissance. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975. Summary: Orgel discusses the concept of political theater in the English Renaissance, including the work of Emerson.
  • Oster, Frederick C. The Prose of Things: Transformations of Description in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Chicago:
  • Patterson, Elizabeth, ed. Romanticism and Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988. Summary: Patterson, editor, brings together a collection of essays on the themes of romanticism and feminism, including the work of Emerson.
  • Pogue, Dennis. Ralph Waldo Emerson: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism, 1980-1991. New York: Garland, 1994. Summary: Pogue provides an annotated bibliography of criticism on Emerson’s work from 1980 to 1991.
  • Pogue, Dennis. Ralph Waldo Emerson: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism, 1992-2000. New York: Garland, 2002. Summary: Pogue provides an annotated bibliography of criticism on Emerson’s work from 1992 to 2000.
  • Price, Kenneth M. Americas Collectible Writers: Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2002. Summary: Price discusses the collectible writings of Emerson, including the value and rarity of his works.
  • Purinton, Marjorie. Emerson’s Fall: A New Interpretation of the Major Essays. New York: Peter Lang, 1993. Summary: Purinton offers a new interpretation of Emerson’s major essays, focusing on the theme of fall.
  • Reese, Jennifer. Emerson and the Sciences. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010. Summary: Reese examines the relationship between Emerson’s work and the sciences.
  • Richardson, Robert D. Emerson: The Mind on Fire: a Biography. University of California: Berkeley, 1995. Summary: Richardson offers a detailed and comprehensive biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson, covering his life, work, and thought. The author focuses on the intellectual and spiritual development of Emerson, as well as the social and cultural context in which he lived.
  • Richter, Joel H. The Critical Heritage of Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York: Garland,
  • Robinson, David. Apostle of Culture. Philadelphia: UP Press, 1982. Summary: Robinson explores Emerson’s role as a cultural leader and his influence on American society.
  • Rohler, Lloyd. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Preacher and Lecturer. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1995. Summary: Rohler discusses the role of preaching and lecturing in Emerson’s work.
 
  • Rusk, Ralph. The Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson. NY: Columbia UP, 1957. Summary: Rusk provides a comprehensive biography of Emerson, covering his life and thought.
  • Sattelmeyer, Robert. Thoreau’s Reading: A Study in Intellectual History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988. Summary: Sattelmeyer examines Thoreau’s reading and the influence of Emerson on his thought.
  • Sealts, Merton M., Jr. “Emerson and the Art of the Diary.” American Literature 38 (March 1966): 1-20. Summary: Sealts discusses the role of the diary in Emerson’s life and work.
  • Seigel, Jerrold. Ralph Waldo Emerson: the Making of a Democratic Intellectual. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. Summary: Seigel examines the development of Emerson’s thought and the influence of democracy on his work.
  • Shaw, Gary. Emerson’s Pragmatic Vision: The Dance of the Eye. University Park: Penn State UP, 1993. Summary: Shaw explores the role of vision and perception in Emerson’s work.
  • Shelley, Mary. Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Psychological Study. New York: Macmillan, 1927. Summary: Shelley provides a psychological analysis of Emerson’s life and thought.
  • Slater, Joseph, ed. The Correspondence of Emerson and Carlyle. New York: Columbia University Press, 1964. Summary: Slater edits and publishes the correspondence between Emerson and Carlyle.
  • Smith, David H. The Prose of Things: Transformations of Description in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. Summary: Smith discusses the transformation of description in the works of Emerson and other writers of the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Solomon, Mark. The Cry of Nature: Art and the Making of Animal Rights. Oakland: University of California Press, 2014. Summary: Solomon explores the relationship between animal rights and art, including the influence of Emerson’s work on this issue.
  • Thurin, Erik Ingvar. The Universal Autobiography of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Lund, Sweden: C. W. K. Gleerup, 1974. Summary: Thurin provides an analysis of the autobiographical elements in Emerson’s work.
  • Wagenknecht, Edward. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Portrait of a Balanced Soul. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974. Summary: Wagenknecht offers a portrait of Emerson as a balanced and harmonious individual.
  • Wagoner, Richard J. The Victorian Sage: Studies in Argument. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1993. Summary: Wagoner discusses the argumentative style of Emerson and other Victorian sages.
  • Ward, Henry. Emerson: Prophet of Individualism. London: Heath Cranton, 1930. Summary: Ward presents Emerson as a prophet of individualism and explores the themes of individualism in his work.
  • Watkins, Daniel P. “Emerson’s Use of the Word Nature.” Studies in the American Renaissance (1984): 159-83. Summary
  • Yoder, R. A. Emerson and the Orphic Poet in America. Berkeley: Univ of California P, 1978. Summary: Yoder discusses the influence of Orphism on Emerson’s thought.
  • Zwarg, Christina. Feminist Conversations: Fuller, Emerson, and the Play of Reading. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1995. Summary: Zwarg explores the role of reading and interpretation in the works of Emerson, Fuller, and other feminists.

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