This book is an anthology of quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson and selected facts about Ralph Waldo Emerson. “My life is not an apology, but a life. It is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady.” “Every wall is a door.” “Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.” “Don't be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” “Always do what you are afraid to do.” “It is not the length of life, but the depth.” Ralph Waldo Emerson was of entirely English ancestry all of which had been in New England since the early colonial period. Emerson was raised by his mother, with the help of the other women in the family; his aunt Mary Moody Emerson. Emerson's formal schooling began at the Boston Latin School in 1812 when he was nine. In October 1817, at 14, Emerson went to Harvard College. By his senior year, Emerson decided to go by his middle name, Waldo. Emerson served as Class Poet; as was custom, he presented an original poem on Harvard's Class Day, a month before his official graduation on August 29, 1821, when he was 18. After Harvard, Emerson assisted his brother William in a school for young women established in their mother's house. Emerson met his first wife, Ellen Louisa Tucker, in Concord, New Hampshire, on Christmas Day 1827, and married her when she was 18. His wife Ellen died at the age of 20 on February 8, 1831, after uttering her last words: "I have not forgotten the peace and joy". Moving north to England, Emerson met William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Thomas Carlyle. Carlyle in particular was a strong influence on Emerson. On January 24, 1835, Emerson wrote a letter to Lydia Jackson proposing marriage. Her acceptance reached him by mail on the 28th. Emerson quickly changed his wife's name to Lidian, and would call her Queenie, and sometimes Asia, and she called him Mr. Emerson. Their children were Waldo, Ellen, Edith, and Edward Waldo Emerson. Edward Waldo Emerson was the father of Raymond Emerson. Ellen was named for his first wife, at Lidian's suggestion. Emerson declared literary independence in the United States and urged Americans to create a writing style all their own and free from Europe. In 1837, Emerson befriended Henry David Thoreau. Emerson was strongly influenced by Vedanta. Emerson visited Paris between the French Revolution of 1848 and the bloody June Days. When he arrived, he saw the stumps where trees had been cut down to form barricades in the February riots. Emerson was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1864. Beginning as early as the summer of 1871 or in the spring of 1872, Emerson started having memory problems and suffered from aphasia. By the end of the decade, he forgot his own name at times and, when anyone asked how he felt, he responded, "Quite well; I have lost my mental faculties, but am perfectly well".
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