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Lot #502
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Henry Thoreau has written some pure poetry"—Emerson chronicles the Transcendentalists in the summer of 1839

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Estimate: $800+
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"Henry Thoreau has written some pure poetry"—Emerson chronicles the Transcendentalists in the summer of 1839

ALS signed “R. W. Emerson,” three pages on two adjoining sheets, 7.75 x 9.75, August 20, 1839. Letter to Frederick Henry Hedge in Bangor, Maine, written from Concord, discussing travel plans and literature. In part: "Edward Palmer was here lately—grown very much since he was in Concord a year ago, in his insight & in the scope of his reform. One great thing he said, which I cannot get out of my head; we were talking of writing, and he said, 'I fancy, I can do everything I think, & so shall not need a record.' I have read lately with more interest than any book for a very long time Bettina Arnim. I have it in English; & it is wonderful & renews youth in hearts that are getting aged. The proud Goethe stands very meekly on his good behaviour before this great hearted & inspired girl. Henry Thoreau has written some pure poetry; not a speck in the glass. Never any so good in America, I think, you will say. Carlyle writes that he goes to Scotland & there decides whether to come to America next fall, or stay at home & begin a new book, being strongly impelled to do both. He has met Webster at a breakfast & gives the best picture of him that was ever painted. He seems never to have seen a man who so struck his imagination. I get good letters from Margaret Fuller who is in spirits…I waste my days lately, & have got only four chapters done & the summer is well nigh spent." In very good to fine condition, with seal-related paper loss to the last page, and old tape reinforcing the folds on the integral address leaf. An utterly fascinating letter name-dropping several leading figures of the Transcendentalist movement, including an important early reference to Henry David Thoreau.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #600 - Ended January 13, 2021

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