Self-Reliance, and Other Essays
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About the Author
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) came from a long line of New England ministers. Attending school at Harvard University, he discovered a love of writing, eventually becoming a teacher upon graduation. After working as a schoolteacher for a number of years, Emerson went back to study theology at Harvard Divinity school and began a new career as a preacher on the east coast. Emerson's sermons were deemed somewhat uninteresting by the general public, forcing him to once again reevaluate his choices. These formative experiences were what eventually led Emerson to the discovery of intellectual discourse and his newfound beliefs about the role of man in nature. This was a central tenet of the transcendental movement, though Emerson never labeled himself as a member.