Letters and Social Aims

Ralph Waldo EMERSON

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Item#: 127291 price:$550.00

Letters and Social Aims

"THE RESTRAINING GRACE OF COMMON-SENSE IS THE MARK OF ALL THE VALID MINDS—OF AESOP, ARISTOTLE, ALFRED, LUTHER, SHAKESPEARE, CERVANTES, FRANKLIN, NAPOLEON"

EMERSON, Ralph Waldo. Letters and Social Aims. Boston: James R. Osgood, 1876 [i.e. 1875]. Octavo, original terracotta cloth. $550.

First edition, first printing of the last volume of essays published during Emerson's lifetime.

This was the last volume of essay published during Emerson's lifetime. By the 1870s, Emerson had faded and "gradually slipped into a serene senility in which his mind finally became a calm blank" (OCAL). "A longtime friend, James Elliot Cabot, was enlisted by the family to help put Emerson's literary manuscripts in order and prepare his lectures for delivery and his writings for publication… Cabot and Emerson's daughter Ellen put together a final volume of essays, Letters and Social Aims (1876), some reprinted ('The Comic,' 'Quotation and Originality,' and 'Persian Poetry') and others drawn from Emerson's manuscripts ('Poetry and Imagination,' 'Social Aims,' 'Eloquence,' 'Resources,' 'Progress of Culture,' 'Inspiration,' 'Greatness,' and 'Immortality')… Emerson died quietly in Concord and was buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, close to the graves of the Alcotts, Hawthornes, and Thoreaus" (ANB). First printing, with "N" on page 209 and with "inviolate" and "choices" on page 308 (changed respectively in the second and third printings to "inviolable" and "choice"). Though this work is dated 1876, the first printing took place on December 16, 1875 and was first advertised on Christmas of that year in Publisher's Weekly. Myerson A34.1a. BAL 5272. Contemporary owner signature.

Pages 249-56 bound in upside-down; original cloth with light wear. An extremely good copy.

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