The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume V: English Traits

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Overview

Emerson traveled broadly in England and Scotland in 1833 and again on lecture tour fifteen years later. Drawing on his experiences there as well as his wide reading in British history, he set forth in English Traits his view of the English as a nation. Published in 1856, this was one of his most popular books, perhaps because of its playfulness and wit and clarity of style.

English Traits is a searching and distinctive portrayal of English culture that today offers a revealing perspective on American viewpoints and preoccupations in the mid-nineteenth century. It is notable, too, for revealing an interesting side of Emerson's complex character; here we find Emerson the practical Yankee, analyzing English power, resourcefulness, determination, and materialism.

The historical introduction to this fullscale critical edition, places English Traits in the context of Emerson's career and travels, and discusses the book's contemporary reception. The explanatory notes provide a treasury of helpful information. This is the definitive scholarly edition of English Traits.

Historical Introduction by Philip Nicoloff

Notes by Robert E. Burkholder

Text Established and Textual Introduction and Apparatus by Douglas Emory Wilson

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Douglas Emory Wilson, the former General Editor, was Textual Editor of the Collected Works at the time of his death in 2005.
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Table of Contents

Historical Introduction

Statement of Editorial Principles

Textual Introduction

1. First Visit to England

2. Voyage to England

3. Land

4. Race

5. Ability

6. Manners

7. Truth

8. Character

9. Cockayne

10. Wealth

11. Aristocracy

12. Universities

13. Religion

14. Literature

15. The "Times"

16. Stonehenge

17. Personal

18. Result

19. Speech at Manchester

Notes

Textual Apparatus

Annex A: Emerson's Corrections and Emendations

Annex B: Parallel Passages

Index

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