Popular quotes: The meaning an history behind "Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes"
"Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes" Ralph Waldo Emerson
Poet, essayist and lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) graduated from
Harvard University and was ordained as a Unitarian minister in 1829; but his
questioning of doctrine led him to resign his ministry three years later.
Gradually moving away from the religious and social beliefs of his
contemporaries, he formulated and expressed his philosophy in Nature, an
essay published in 1836 which helped initiate the Transcendentalist
movement (for an almost comprehensible definition of transcendentalism, see transcendentalists.com).
In 1837 he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar which Supreme Court Judge
Oliver Wendell Holmes described as America's "Intellectual Declaration of
In 1840, with Margaret Fuller, he helped launch The Dial - a
journal that provided an outlet for Transcendentalist ideas. His Essays
published in 1841 and 1844 brought him international fame; and Poems
(1847) and May-Day (1867) established his reputation as a major poet.
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