First Edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Representative Men: Seven Lectures; Inscribed by Him

  • Representative Men: Seven Lectures.

Representative Men: Seven Lectures.

Item Number: 18032

Boston: Phillips, Sampson and Company, 1850.

First edition, second state with the ads at end. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Signor Gajani – with the respects of RW Emerson.” Emerson attended lectures by the visiting Professor Guglielmo Gajani at the Concord Lyceum in 1856 and 1857. Gajani had served in Mazzini’s first government, and the earlier of the two lectures was on the failure of Republicanism in Italy; his book The Roman Exile, published in New York in 1856, was on this subject too. Mazzini spent much time in London in the 1850s and was a regular visitor to Emerson’s friend Thomas Carlyle. Octavo, original brown cloth, spine gilt-lettered. An excellent example with light rubbing and crown of the spine chipped. Housed in a cloth chemise and a half morocco clamshell box.

Representative Men is a collection of seven lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson, published as a book of essays in 1850. The first essay discusses the role played by "great men" in society, and the remaining six each extoll the virtues of one of six men deemed by Emerson to be great. They included: Plato ("the Philosopher"), Emanuel Swedenborg ("the Mystic"), Michel de Montaigne ("the Skeptic"), William Shakespeare ("the Poet"), Napoleon ("the Man of the World") and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ("the Writer").