Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American poet, Harvard graduate, philosopher, and lecturer. Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1803, Emerson was the son of a Unitarian minister who tragically died before the author reached the age of eight. At 14, Emerson went to Harvard College, where he started a journal that would come to be known as "Wide World."
After graduating from Harvard, Emerson's poor health forced him to move south. He eventually came to rest in St. Augustine, Florida, where he began writing poetry. Emerson also encountered many influences on his journeys through Europe. His first essay, Nature, was published in 1836. Just a year later the poet gave his famous speech, "The American Scholar," to students at Cambridge. Emerson went on to write many more speeches and lectured throughout the country. In his later years, Emerson suffered from mental ailments which made it increasingly difficult to write. He died of pneumonia in 1882.
Nature, Emerson's first work, posits that every element of nature is a divine entity. The essay is available in audiobook download format. Selected Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume 1, available for audio download, is a collection of five hand-picked essays from Emerson's early years. It's sequel, Selected Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Volume 2, contains five more works including The Poet, Gifts, Politics, and Illusions. And many other essays from Emerson are available on audio right here on LearnOutLoud.com. For some free Emerson listening check out our LearnOutLoud.com podcast The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson Podcast.