Jeffrey S. Cramer

presents

Solid Seasons:
The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson

This event includes a book signing

Date

Apr
16
Tuesday
April 16, 2019
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome award-winning author and editor JEFFREY S. CRAMER—curator of collections at the Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute Library—for a discussion of his latest book, Solid Seasons: The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

About Solid Seasons

Any biography that concentrates on either Henry David Thoreau or Ralph Waldo Emerson tends to diminish the other figure, but in Solid Seasons both men remain central and equal. Through several decades of writing, friendship remained a primary theme for them both.

Collecting extracts from the letters and journals of both men, as well as words written about them by their contemporaries, Jeffrey S. Cramer beautifully illustrates the full nature of their twenty-five-year dialogue. Biographers like to point at the crisis in their friendship, focusing particularly on Thoreau's disappointment in Emerson―rarely on Emerson's own disappointment in Thoreau―and leaving it there, a friendship ruptured. But the solid seasons remained, as is evident when, in 1878, Anne Burrows Gilchrist, the English writer and friend of Whitman, visited Emerson. She wrote that his memory was failing "as to recent names and topics but as is usual in such cases all the mental impressions that were made when he was in full vigour remain clear and strong." As they chatted, Emerson called to his wife, Lidian, in the next room, "What was the name of my best friend?" 

"Henry Thoreau," she answered.
"Oh, yes," Emerson repeated. "Henry Thoreau."

Praise

"Cramer (The Quotable Thoreau) intelligently examines the bond between two famous authors in an admirable volume that mixes biography with selections of their writing . . . The words offer inquisitive readers encouragement to refresh their acquaintance with Emerson and Thoreau through this 'new view of an old story.'" ―Publishers Weekly 

"Editor of many works by Emerson and Thoreau and curator of collections at the Walden Woods Project's Thoreau Institute, Cramer brings both authority and sensitivity to his biographical overview and to a judicious selection of excerpts from the men's prolific writings . . . A deeply sympathetic dual biography." ―Kirkus Reviews

Jeffrey S. Cramer
Jeffrey S. Cramer

Jeffrey S. Cramer

Jeffrey S. Cramer is the editor of Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition, winner of a 2004 National Outdoor Book Award, and The Quotable Thoreau, recipient of an Umhoefer Prize for Achievement in Humanities. In 2017, Cramer was the historical consultant for the Ken Burns–produced documentary Walden, created for the Walden Pond State Reservation during the Thoreau Bicentennial. Cramer is the curator of collections at the Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute Library. He lives in Maynard, Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: Tom Hersey

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

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Co-Sponsored by Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Learn more at masshumanities.org.

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