About Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose original profession and calling was as a Unitarian minister, left the ministry to pursue a career in writing and public speaking. Emerson became one of America's best known and best-loved 19th-century figures.

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Text & Quotes of Emerson

Learn from one of the greatest writers and poets in American history. His most famous work, Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance can truly change your life for the better.

Other famous works are The American Scholar summary, The Lord's Supper, Nature, St. Augustine Confessions, Harvard Divinity School Address, and his collection of poems.

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Life Of Emerson

Many enthusiasts consider him to have been the greatest poet America has yet produced. Emerson as a poet will always have an audience of admirers and some worshippers. Life Of Emerson (Introduction to Early Poems of Ralph Waldo Emerson) — Nathan Haskell Dole, 1899.

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Emerson's most famous work

Throughout his life, Emerson kept detailed journals of his thoughts and actions, and he returned to them as a source for many of his essays. Self-reliance is all that it sounds like plus considerably more. Learn from one of the greatest writers and poets in American history. His most famous work, Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance can truly change your life for the better.

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This section includes the lectures given by Emerson and also includes various biographies on his life and those close to Emerson. Sovereignty of Ethics and Mary Moody Emerson are included.

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This section covers poems written early in Emerson’s career which some are not widely known. Fifty poems are available, including The Rhodora.

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This is a collection of writings, addresses, essays, and reviews by Emerson. Included are his famous works, The Last Supper.

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The section does not cover the history and life of Emerson and his writings, but rather his work entitled “History.”

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"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." That quote has been inspirational to me and my business. I've taken risks and fallen, but I always get back up stronger than before.

Matt Gallant


The wisdom that is Emerson has been a strong impact on my career and in my roles as a father and husband. His advice is timeless. "Self Reliance" was the first work of Emerson's that I read and I still read it every year.

Ron Halversen

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I read Emerson's Self Reliance as a teen for English class. It didn't click for me at the time, but as I got older I found myself remembering bits and pieces. It's been a sort of backbone to my adult life that I've returned to again and again when I needed (self) guidance.

Melissa Anderson

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I recently attended an important dinner meeting with a potential new client. I reminded myself to be calm, watch my non-verbal cues and maintain eye contact. I learned these important items when reading Ralph Waldo Emerson's "The Conduct of Life". The essay emphasized the importance of "Behavior" and to celebrate "the wonderful expressiveness of the human body".

Heather Paige

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"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." To think Emerson uttered these words nearly two centuries ago and yet it is the perfect advice for today's youth."

Alyssa Gonzalez

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Emerson's advice, "Every man is a consumer, and ought to be a producer," is even more important in today's wealth-driven economy. Being a producer ensures your family's security and comfort even after you are gone."

Rich Martin


"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Every business owner would be wise to heed Emerson's words."

Caleb Hunter


There is no human alive could not appreciate the magnitude of living life free from all that we tightly wind ourselves. This freedom comes from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Mark Mason

Mark Mason

What I remember most about Emerson is he said not to worry about what has happened in the past, or what may happen in the future, but focus on that which dwells deep within you.

Derek Mills


A year has not gone by since I left college that I have not read Emerson’s essay, Self Reliance. I have instilled Emerson’s wisdom on my daughter, family, and friends.

Jeff Greenfield

Overnight Dealer

My grandfather told me when I was young that instead of following the path of others, I should go where my heart took me. For me to leave a trail for others to follow. I learned years later it was a quote from Emerson.

Todd Chism

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People Influenced By Emerson


Henry David Thoreau

He was an American essayist, a poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. He was born July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts, and given the name David Henry, but would later change it to Henry David as he felt it sounded more like a writer. He died May 6, 1862, also in Concord, Massachusetts. He was 45 years old at the time of his death.

His well-known essays were Civil Disobedience and Life Without Principle. He was educated at the Concord Academy and Harvard University.

Quotes associated with Thoreau:

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify."


Margaret Fuller

She was a women's rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement which RWE was also a part of. Her given name was Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli. She was also an American journalist. She was born May 23, 1810, in Cambridgeport, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She died July 19, 1850, at Fire Island, New York.

Quotes associated with Fuller:

"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader."

"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it."

"Very early, I know that the only object in life was to grow."

This site is dedicated to the memory of my late father, Emerson West, who was named after Ralph Waldo Emerson. The man I am today reflects the influence of my father and the life teachings of Emerson.