"Society and Solitude", published in 1870, was the first collection of essays Emerson had put into press since "The Conduct of Life" ten years earlier. Of the twelve essays included in the volume, he had previously published seven in whole or in part: "Society and Solitude," "Civilization," "Art," "Eloquence," "Domestic Life," "Books," and "Old Age." Emerson added five previously unpublished lectures or essays, "Works and Days," "Clubs," "Courage," "Success," and "Farming."This edition is based on Emerson's holograph manuscripts and published sources. The text incorporates corrections and revisions he recorded in both sources, and thus restores for the reader the text he actually wrote. Although he is still visibly the insistent optimist of his early and middle career, here Emerson assumes a more pragmatic attitude than formerly toward the life of the mind and the imagination. "Society and Solitude" captures the penultimate expression of Emersonian Transcendentalism and Romanticism.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Herman Melville said that Ralph Waldo Emerson possessed a "self-conceit so intensely intellectual that at first one hesitates to call it by its right name," though he later admitted Emerson was "a great man." Both were probably true. The Sage of Concord gave more than 1500 speeches in his lifetime, and Self-Reliance is probably his most important work.
Ronald A. Bosco, Distinguished Professor of English and American Literature, State University of New York at Albany, is General Editor of the Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Douglas Emory Wilson, the former General Editor, was Textual Editor of the "Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson" at the time of his death in 2005.