Society and Solitude Additional Summary

Ralph Waldo Emerson


(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Allen, Gay Wilson. Waldo Emerson: A Biography. New York: Viking Press, 1981. Notes the reception to Society and Solitude by various critics. Provides an excerpt from the original manuscript that did not appear in the published work. Well-indexed. Features a chronology and comprehensive notes.

Buell, Lawrence. Emerson. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2003. This biographical account revisits the life and work of America’s first public intellectual on the occasion of Emerson’s two-hundredth birthday. The index lists the references to Society and Solitude.

Carpenter, Frederic Ives. Emerson Handbook. 1953. Reprint. New York: Hendricks House, 1967. A good research tool, providing background material to the ideas that shape Emerson’s texts. Discusses Emerson’s writing methods and style. Includes bibliographies.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson: 1820-24. Vol. 1. Edited by Edward Waldo Emerson and Waldo Emerson Forbes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. This volume of Emerson’s journals is rich in comments on key notions found in Society and Solitude.

Lothstein, Arthur S., and Michael Brodrick, eds. New Morning: Emerson in the Twenty-first Century. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008. Philosophers, poets, and literary critics, including Mark Strand, Gary Snyder, and Lawrence Buell, discuss how Emerson’s ideas about the environment, race, politics, spirituality, and other areas remain relevant into the twenty-first century.

Porte, Joel. Consciousness and Culture: Emerson and Thoreau Reviewed. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2004. Focuses on Emerson as a writer, analyzing the quality of his prose and the organization of his essays. References to Society and Solitude are listed in the index.

Porte, Joel, and Saundra Morris, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Collection of essays in which contributors assess Emerson’s writing, influence, and cultural significance. Chapter 4 examines Emerson as a lecturer.