The Heart of Emerson's Journals

The Heart of Emerson's Journals

The Heart of Emerson's Journals

The Heart of Emerson's Journals

Excerpt

The richness of the unprinted material in Emerson's diaries has been known to the reading public ever since Elliot Cabot drew upon it for his Memoir of Emerson. Dr. Edward W. Emerson quoted from it freely in his Emerson in Concord, and in his notes to the twelve volumes of the Centenary Edition of his father's works, published in 1903. Lovers of Emerson were finally gratified by the publication of his Journals in their entirety. They appeared in ten volumes, under the joint editorship of Dr. Emerson and Waldo Emerson Forbes, in 1909-14. Their extraordinary interest was at once recognized by students, but to the general reading public these ten stout volumes seemed somewhat formidable. Professor Michaud promptly issued, in French, a condensation in two volumes, but hitherto no Selection from the Journals has been attempted for Emerson's countrymen. It has been undertaken by the present editor, with the consent of Emerson's surviving children and with the coöperation of his publishers, in the belief that a single volume edition of the Journals will now be welcomed by the everwidening circle of readers of our most distinguished American writer.

It is not known when Emerson first began to keep a journal, but there are fairly full records from 1820, when he was seventeen, to 1875, when he was seventy-two. The famous diaries of John Wesley and of John Quincy Adams cover only a slightly longer period of time. The . . .

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