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A Man of Many Faces Ralph Waldo Emerson was a poet who was one in a million Emerson was born on May 25 1803 his father was a Unitarian minister a path that Emerson would later follow Emerson lived in poverty during his early days Yet through hard work he was accepted to Harvard but graduated without distinction in 1821 His familys high thinking and plain living though Emerson at an early age the importance of self-reliance and gave him a deep respect for books and learning Emerson began by teaching a private girls school but moved on to bigger things Within a few years Emerson was licensed to preach in the Unitarian Church For the next few years Emerson spent his life preaching In 1829 Emerson would meet his first wife Ellen Louise Tucker The two got married but unfortunately Tucker was very frail and died of tuberculosis After his wifes death Emerson abandoned preaching perhaps seeing his call as a poet instead On December 1832 Emerson sailed for Europe There he met many people and saw many things which helped him develop his love of nature and other things that would go on to inspire his work After returning to Boston in 1833 Emerson grew into a routine of studying lecturing and writing A short while later he met Lydia Jackson a fanatic of Emersons work and the pair were married within a year The next decade would mark Emersons intellectual maturity He completed his essay Nature which is looked upon as a masterpiece even today He also gave his American Scholar address for the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa society in which he expressed his basic doctrine of self-reliance Yet Emerson continued to witness tragedy as he saw two of his brothers die and another who had gone crazy and had to be institutionalized Worst of all his first son Waldo died at the age of six due to scarlet
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