Mary Moody Emerson and the Origins of Transcendentalism: A Family History by Phyllis ColeMary Moody Emerson and the Origins of Transcendentalism: A Family History by Phyllis Cole

Mary Moody Emerson and the Origins of Transcendentalism: A Family History

byPhyllis Cole

Paperback | March 15, 2002

Pricing and Purchase Info

$65.87

Earn 329 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

Quantity:

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores

about

Mary Moody Emerson has long been a New England legend, the "eccentric Calvinist aunt" of Ralph Waldo Emerson, wearing a death-shroud as her daily garment. This exciting new study, based on the first reading of all her known letters and diaries, reveals a complex human voice and powerfulforerunner of American Transcendentalism. From the years of her famous nephew's infancy, in both private and published writings, she celebrated independence, solitude in nature, and inward communion with God. Mary Moody Emerson inherited both resources and constraints from her family, a lineage of Massachusetts ministers who had earlier practiced spiritual awakening and political resistance against England. Cole discovers a previously unexamined Emerson tradition of fervent piety in the ancestors' ownwriting and Mary's preservation of their memory. She also examines the position of a woman in this patriarchal family. Barred from the pulpit and university by her sex, she also refused marriage to become a reader, writer, and religious seeker. Cole's biography explores this reading and writing as both a woman's vocation and a gift to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Helping to raise her nephews after their father's death, Mary Moody Emerson urged Waldo the college student to seek solitude in nature and become a divine poet. Cole's pioneering study,tracing crucial lines of influence from Mary Emerson's heretofore unknown texts to her nephew's major works, establishes a fresh and vital source for a central American literary tradition.
Phyllis Cole is at Pennsylvania State University.
Loading
Title:Mary Moody Emerson and the Origins of Transcendentalism: A Family HistoryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.09 × 5.98 × 0.98 inPublished:March 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019515200X

ISBN - 13:9780195152005

Look for similar items by category:

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"Most of all, [Phyllis Cole] has reconstituted, from fragmentary and scattered sources, the life - both interior and public, material and spiritual - of a woman of rare and difficult philosophical temperament...Cole reconstitutes philosophy itself...with energy and a conviction that it reallymattered."--American Literature