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Emerson among the Eccentrics: A Group Portrait
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Emerson among the Eccentrics: A Group Portrait

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  38 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Ralph Waldo Emerson's circle included many of the most brilliant and original minds of his day: Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Amos Bronson Alcott, and Margaret Fuller. Together this eccentric group helped establish Concord, Massachusetts, as a mecca for progressive thinking, including women's rights and religious tolerance.Carlos Baker's indefatigable research ...more
Paperback, 624 pages
Published December 1st 1997 by Penguin Books (first published September 1st 1995)
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Gregg Bell
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it

This book can't help but deepen you. It's unfortunately named, however, as I don't think there was anything terribly eccentric about Emerson and his friends, which included Thoreau and Hawthorne. What made them eccentric perhaps was that they lived their lives the way they wanted to and again perhaps that would make anyone stand out as eccentric in any age.

This wonderfully written book is about the people, not their images. Although it is about the towering intellect, world traveler, icon that E

Jun 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this much more than I enjoy reading Emerson himself, although that's not saying much. What I particularly liked about this text was the contextualization of Emerson with his (transcendentalist) contemporaries.
Brian Bess
Aug 31, 2008 rated it liked it
Emerson and his satellites

When I decided to read this book I violated my own rule to attempt to read most of an author’s works before embarking on a biography of the author. However, the subject matter of this book encompassed a great intersection of cultural pioneers, all living at one time or other within a small territorial radius. Emerson was at the center of this cluster, which also included Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson Alcott (whose daughter Louisa May’s eccentric upbr
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, concord
This is a detailed, yet broad group biography of Emerson's literary circle. Illuminating it its interconnections, with personal details often left out of biographies of the singular individuals, this ambitious collective study, nonetheless, gives the reader a good understanding of Emerson's life and the personalities that he shared influential relationships with.
Victoria Weinstein
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Emerson and the Transcendentalists
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an entertaining and well-researched book about the "crowd" around Emerson at the height of his popularity and prowess. For those who might like a break from more scholarly works on Emerson and the Transcendentalists.
Sep 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
A great group biography of the whole gang: Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, Hawthorne. Just people thinking thoughts and writings words. Gave lots of hope to me as a young reader/writer/thinker.
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Would have appreciated a cast of characters list! So many people.

But, Margaret Fuller! What a woman.
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