This book, Addresses, is the collection of speeches/orientations Ralph Waldo Emerson gave to the graduating class of Harvard Divinity School (July 15, 1838), delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa... More > Society, at Cambridge (August 31, 1837), before the Literary Societies of Dartmouth College (July 24, 1838), and delivered before the Society of the Adelphi, in Waterville College, Maine (August 11, 1841)< Less
Nature is an essay written by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is in this essay that the foundation of transcendentalism is put forth, a belief system that espouses a non-traditional appreciation of nature.... More > Transcendentalism suggests that divinity suffuses all nature, and speaks to the notion that we can only understand reality through studying nature.
Henry David Thoreau had read "Nature" as a senior at Harvard College and took it to heart. It eventually became an essential influence for Thoreau's later writings, including his seminal Walden. In fact, Thoreau wrote Walden while living in a self-built cabin on land that Emerson owned. Their longstanding acquaintance offered Thoreau great encouragement in pursuing his desire to be a published author.
Emerson followed the success of this essay with a famous speech entitled "The American Scholar". These two works laid the foundation for both his new philosophy and his literary career.< Less