The Transcendentalists and Their World (MHS)

Monday December 13

5:30 PM  –  6:30 PM

Bancroft Prize winning author Robert Gross presents a fresh view of the Transcendentalists; thinkers whose outsize impact on philosophy and literature would spread from tiny Concord to all corners of the earth. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the Alcotts called this town home, but Concord from the 1820s through the 1840s was no pastoral place fit for poets and philosophers. It was a community in ferment, whose small, ordered society founded by Puritans and defended by Minutemen was dramatically unsettled through the expansive forces of capitalism and democracy and tightly integrated into the wider world. The Transcendentalists and Their World is both an intimate journey into the life of a community and a searching cultural study of major American writers as they plumbed the depths of the universe for spiritual truths and surveyed the rapidly changing contours of their own neighborhoods.