Encyclopedia of Transcendentalism provides a comprehensive A-to-Z guide to the Transcendentalists, the legendary group of New England authors that included Ralph Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Transcendentalism promoted intuitive knowledge and the idea that the individual, rather than the Christian God, was the spiritual and moral center of the universe; it was often called the most influential American literary and intellectual movement of the 19th century. Entries cover writers, literary works, and more, ranging from the movement's origins in the first decades of the 19th century to the activities of a second generation of thinkers and activists after the Civil War. This volume is unique in bringing together all of the major, as well as some lesser-known but significant, writings of a wider circle of writers and thinkers associated with the Transcendentalists and engaging their philosophical themes.
- The central writers and thinkers of the movement, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Amos Bronson Alcott, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and many more
- Great writers who influenced or were influenced by the movement, including Immanuel Kant and Henry James
- Major transcendentalist essays and lectures, including Emerson's "Self-Reliance" and Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience"
- Major poems, including Emerson's "Concord Hymn" and Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself"
- Major books, including Thoreau's Walden and Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Century
- Major works of short fiction, including Hawthorne's "Rappaccini's Daughter" and Louisa May Alcott's "Transcendental Wild Oats"
- Places, including Walden Pond and Concord
- Concepts, including Unitarianism and abolitionism
- Periodicals, including the Dial and the Atlantic Monthly
- and much more.
Index. Appendix. Bibliography. Cross-references. Chronology.
About the Author(s)
Tiffany K. Wayne, Ph.D., holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Woman Thinking: Feminism and Transcendentalism in Nineteenth-Century America.