“THE BEST OF ALL YOUR BOOKS” (CARLYLE): HANDSOMELY BOUND 1904 EDITION OF EMERSON’S CONDUCT OF LIFE
EMERSON, Ralph Waldo. The Conduct of Life. Edinburgh: Otto Schulze, . Quarto, contemporary three-quarter crushed red morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut.
1904 edition, a splendid wide-margined copy of the work considered by Carlyle and others to be the best of all Emerson’s works, bound in rich morocco by Root & Son.
In Conduct of Life Emerson seeks to reconcile his “earlier belief in complete freedom with the ‘Beautiful Necessity’ of fate. The essays in this volume include ‘Fate,’ ‘Power,’ ‘Wealth,’ ‘Culture,’ ‘Behavior,’ ‘Worship,’ ‘Considerations by the Way,’ ‘Beauty’ and ‘Illusions.’ It is ‘Fate’(or ‘the laws of the world’) that interests Emerson the most, as he tries to balance his belief in the importance of individual freedom with a recognition of there being immutable natural laws that restrict humanity in its actions.” Based on Emerson’s lectures in the 1840s, which were “among the most popular and effective he ever gave” (ANB), Conduct of Life was declared by Carlyle, in a letter to Emerson, to be “the best of all your books” (Correspondence II:275). First published in 1860. A volume in the Lighthouse Library of Great Thinkers. Myerson A26.16. See BAL 5231; Myerson A26.1.a.
A fine copy.