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The last of the English literature lectures was given in January 1836. In September appeared. It is a major statement, a book which, like Lucretius's , aims at nothing less than an account of "How Things Are," an intense effort to synthesize a first philosophy. shows the warming and shaping influence of , Bacon, , (via Thomas Taylor), Swedenborg (via ), and Kant (via Carlyle, who was also a major influence by himself). Many of the observations, especially on language, from the English literature lectures found their way, often verbatim and at length, into . In some important respects then, key parts of came directly out of Emerson's study of English literature.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson was considered by many to be the central American figure in literacy, His transcendentalism deeply affected his writing, making it his poetic them found throughout his poetry, such as: Bra...

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Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around the premises of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Another lecture in the "English Literature" series is called "Ethical Writers." The subject seems puzzling at first, but it is important for a full understanding of Emerson's conception of literature. There is a whole class of writers whose primary function is not entertainment, he says, "who help us by addressing not our taste but our human wants, who treat of the permanent nature of man." Such writers include, among the classics, , , Cicero, Marcus Aurelius. In English, the list includes Bacon, , Jeremy Taylor, Sir Thomas Browne, , and . Emerson also includes poets and playwrights in his list, but his emphasis is clearly on a kind of writing which is not fiction, poetry, or drama but primarily wisdom literature or moral literature, everything that we now place under the heading of nonfiction prose. It is a category that includes much of the best-and most helpful--writing ever done, a category in which Emerson himself now holds a high place.

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As the two most prominent figures in the transcendentalist movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau whole-heartedly embraced these principles.

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Emerson spent the rest of his life centered in Concord, with another trip to England in 1847-1848, one to California in 1871, and a final trip to Egypt in 1872. Each winter he would travel through New England and the East Coast, and as far west as there were cities on his annual lecture tour, for which he was his own booking agent, advertiser, and arranger. The rest of the year he spent in Concord, which soon became one of the intellectual centers of the country, a sort of American Weimar. The group around Emerson, usually called the Transcendentalists, were defined in one way by Emerson's 1838 Divinity School address, which offended orthodox Unitarians by locating religious authority in the religious nature of human beings, rather than in the Bible or the person of Christ. The , a new magazine founded by the group and edited first by , showed the group's interest in the literature of Idealism. In religion, in philosophy, and in literature, the group around Emerson was liberal, learned, forward-looking and reform-minded. The Emersonian "movement" (it was Emerson who said there are always two parties in society, the Establishment and the Movement) or "the newness" was eventually overshadowed by the Civil War, the coming of industrialism, and the rise of realism. But in the late 1830s, 1840s, and into the 1850s, Emerson was at the center of much that was new, exciting, and vital in American cultural life.

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There are both parallels and disagreements between these writer's tones. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote to inspire and to change the thought process of the everyday man, in hopes that society would improve.

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A number of famous writers of the period, including poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and, of course, Nathaniel Hawthorne, were believers in the emerging faith.