19 Interesting And Fun Facts About Ralph Waldo Emerson! | Kidadl


19 Interesting And Fun Facts About Ralph Waldo Emerson!

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is a popular American essayist who was born to Ruth Haskins and Reverend William Emerson.

He graduated from the Harvard Divinity School. His father was a Unitarian Minister. At the age of 26, Ralph Waldo Emerson married Ellen Louisa Tucker but she died a couple of years later due to tuberculosis.

He later married his second wife Lidian Jackson Emerson in the year 1835. Authoring more than 1500 public lectures, Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the influential trailblazers of individualism and contributed a unique and fascinating sense of philosophy that would compel and act as inspiration to many budding authors in the future.

The life of Waldo Emerson is a mystical mixture of nature, god, church and philosophy. Emerson is also credited as being one of the first Americans to write and seriously explore Asian and Middle Eastern philosophy.

He was influenced by various important Anglican figures throughout his life. His writing involves spiritual and otherworldly elements which in contrast to their very own nature embodies all the realities of nature. Things we might not have paid a heed of might or even seem so unnecessary to observe, you can witness their sheer magnificence and the unconscious impact they seem to have on us in Ralph Waldo Emerson's work.

Read on to know more about his relationship with other notable writers of the era like Thomas Carlyle and William Wordsworth.

The Early Life Of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson belonged to a typical English ancestry and was named after his great-grandmother. Born in the busy city of Boston, Massachusetts, on May 25, 1803, Emerson grew up with five of his siblings, however, only three of them survived childhood.

When Waldo Emerson was just eight years old, he lost his father to dreadful stomach cancer. He was then raised entirely by his mother and his aunt Mary Moody Emerson with whom he was very close and admired greatly. She corresponded with Emerson throughout her life until her death in 1863. He experienced while growing up a profound and positive impact from his aunt. This may partly be the reason why the death of his aunt affected Emerson greatly.

After completing his formal schooling in Boston Latin School in the year 1812, at a very tender young age of 14, he was accepted into Harvard college (as a freshmen messenger for the president). There his intellectual journey would officially take a start as Emerson began to record the books he was reading and also started journaling about the same.

He worked various jobs during this time too, as a waiter and a part-time teacher, consequently it would render Emerson financially stable to pay for his school. Emerson, during his time at Harvard, decided to go by his middle name, Waldo. He also contributed to the literature section of the college by writing original poems, presenting them during Harvard's class day. He had four children and their names are Waldo, Ellen, Edith and Edward. He died in the year 1882.

What is Ralph Waldo Emerson known for?

Ralph Waldo Emerson is known for his unique sense of writing.

Emerson, throughout his career, has kept nature as a central, spiritual, aspect in his writing. Writers like Henry David Thoreau are known to have had great inspiration from him. Emerson was also known for his spiritually rich poems, poems depicting the sanctimony of individualism.

His works over the decades have been published numerous times in various languages, corresponding to the author’s innate sense of writing ability.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Most Famous Works

After graduating from Harvard and teaching at the School for Young Ladies, Emerson made an outlandish decision to live in a cabin located at Roxbury, Massachusetts.

This cabin located in the midst of splendid scenic landscapes, mountains, and trees, nurtured Emerson's love and intellectual study of nature. During this time, he wrote extensively about anything that crossed his mind. It is also said that his time in the cabin propelled him to pursue interests in philosophy and nature.

The lectures and works he would later on go to publish impacted the hearts of Americans deeply. Here is a list of some of his very brilliant and famous works include 'The American Scholar', 'The Lord’s Supper', 'Nature', 'St Augustine Confessions', 'Divinity School Address', and 'Self-Reliance'.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in addition to these intellectually profound works, also wrote collections of poems which had the supreme richness of philosophy and nature. Self-reliance is another of his great works, which is read by an individual who craves for a betterment of life, will truly nourish one's heart. The profound essay deals with the power of individualism and what extent a human being could possibly go to avoid the uncertainty of life. The essay also contains aspects about following and nurturing our own instincts and ideals.

'The Rhodora' is one of the best-loved poems of Ralph Waldo Emerson; the poem is written expressly about the importance and origins of a flower called rhododendron. Emerson believed that a poet is someone who explores the mysteries of the universe and makes sense of these beautiful mysteries that hold humanity together.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in the year 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts.

What makes Ralph Waldo Emerson unique?

Ralph Waldo Emerson was not just an essayist, he was a prolific poet, lecturer, and philosopher. The writings and philosophies influenced the world’s notable writers like Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Will James, and many others. Emerson, through his works, emerged as a central figure of American thought since the colonial period.

The works of Ralph Waldo Emerson possess remarkable wisdom for dealing with adversities and grief that life will throw at us. One of the aspects that makes Emerson unique is his appealing and compelling reverence towards nature. During his time, his contemporaries didn't even come close to explaining the deepest intricacies of wisdom nature can give us. The influence eastern philosophies had on him becomes glaringly obvious when you read his work.

Emerson was not someone who wrote for pleasure; he wrote because he experienced life with its ever happening influx of ups and downs. In one of his essays, 'Nature' to be precise, the unbinding unification of life and nature is extravagantly expressed. According to him, nature is a symbol of everything beyond, everything we call god. Emerson’s staunch side about individualism is also one of his unique qualities, his motto, 'Trust Thyself' is a splendid example of it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Philosophy And Beliefs

In his best-loved essay 'Self-Reliance', Emerson deliberately writes about the importance of believing in oneself and facing the struggles life throws at us with uncompromising determination.

Through this thought-provoking essay, Emerson is expressively pointing out his beliefs about the power of individualism. In fact, during his time, none other of his many contemporaries' work etched out the importance of having utmost faith in an individual’s own faculties. Writers such as Emerson possess strong convection in believing that an individual can penetrate through this veil of illusion and transcend to deeper spiritual experience through intuition and free will.

The philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson embodies the importance of spirit over matter. According to him, nature can be a significant representation of the divine to heed human life into comprehending the laws of nature and consequently be closer to God.

In his various essays, Emerson, directly or indirectly, always stated that a true scholar must possess invaluable knowledge about nature to enhance his self-awareness. His belief is that man and nature must inevitably co-exist and their interdependence is not just for intellectual nourishment but of the soul.

The life of Ralph Waldo Emerson is a remarkable example that can teach us that one must, during some point in their life, should retreat to the woods, live out their fears, complexities and enjoy the sheer pleasure in uncompromising yet beautiful solitude. If reading is to nourish our mind, being in nature renders us the unforgettable experience of our lifetime.

Hemant Oswal
Written By
Hemant Oswal

<p>With global experience in marketing and business development, Hemant is a seasoned professional with a unique perspective. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi and a Master's degree in Marketing from The University of Adelaide in Australia. Hemant's work in China, Hong Kong, and Dubai has honed his skills and provided valuable experience. He broadens his understanding of the world through reading non-fiction books and watching documentaries.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?