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EMERSON, Ralph Waldo.

Autograph letter signed to Elizabeth Hoar.

Published: Concord, 14 July 1856

Stock code: 70151

Price: £4,500

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RWE returns a book of newly published poems written by a neighbour (“… which I have kept longer than was right, from liking & because one is always expecting a better day & mood to read these pastoral verses. I find them always pleasing, with a solid honesty quite free from prettiness or showiness … And whilst they particularly please me that he praises our own stream & hills, they made me wish his farm & walks were a few miles nearer mine, that I could see his chimney smoke, & hope sometimes to encounter him in his walk, or even to venture on him in his house …”) RWE’s correspondent, Elizabeth Sherman Hoar (1814-1878), was a schoolmate of Henry Thoreau and his siblings. In her youth she was engaged to marry her father’s young law partner, Charles Chauncy Emerson, RWE’s brother. Before they could marry, Charles died of consumption in May 1836, yet Elizabeth was for the rest of her life treated as a member of the Emerson family: RWE signs himself here “Your brother Waldo”. The book of poems which he is returning is Consolations of Solitude (Boston: Jewett, 1856) by John Witt Randall (1813-1892). Randall lived at his family seat in Stow, Massachusetts, nine miles west of Concord. The town’s library is named after him and his home and grounds are now the Stow Acres Country Club. He bequeathed his collection of old master prints and drawings, engravings, and engraved portraits to the Fogg Art Museum in 1898.

4 page letter, octavo, creased twice where folded. A touch of foxing in the central fold, excellent condition.

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