Body of Work
Emerson kept voluminous journals. At the age of sixteen, in his junior year at Harvard, he made his first journal entry. He named his journal The Wide World. The entry was dated January 25, 1820 and he wrote continuously for the next sixty years. Emerson’s journals became the starting point for most of his writing.
Emerson published a substantial body of writing during his lifetime. His first book, Nature, appeared in 1836. Two volumes of Essays followed, then Poems, Nature, Addresses and Lectures, Representative Men, English Traits, The Conduct of Life, May-day and Other Pieces, Society and Solitude, Parnassus, and Letters and Social Aims. His books, together with numerous articles in The Dial, The Atlantic Monthly and other periodicals; lectures; sermons; thousands of letters; and volumes of journal entries and notebooks, form a lasting record of Emersonian thought. The main collection of Emerson’s manuscripts is now at Harvard University, in the archives of Houghton Library.