Myerson's collection draws together in their entirety, the essential writings of the Transcendentalist group during its most active period, 1836-1844. It includes the major publications of the Dial, the writings on democratic and social reform (Brownson and Parker), the early poetry, nature writings and all of Emerson's major essays. The volume anticipates and complements the three major full-length works that followed the Transcendentalist period and are traditionally bought separately; Thoreau's Walden, Whitman's Leaves of Grass, and Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Myerson, whose credibility as a scholar in this period is unsurpassed, is the ideal editor to organize the volume.

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