Spring 2020 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for spring 2020 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

Freedom and Fate
An Inner Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Stephen E. Whicher

214 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Ebook 2017 | ISBN 9781512820195 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

Stephen Whicher's Freedom and Fate begins with a tribute to Ralph Rusk's monumental biography The Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson, acknowledging its supremacy as a factual telling of Emerson's life that cannot be surpassed. Whicher's book aims to be a complement to the painstakingly researched outer life of Emerson by focusing on the great sage's inner life—not just his intellectual biography but the very nature of his thinking.

Whicher stresses the life of "spectator-ship" that the young Emerson, perpetually ill as he turned out to be, was condemned to. His writings, especially his private thoughts recorded in his journals, document the ebb and flow of his spirit, alternatively listless and resolute.

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