Transcendental Utopias: Individual and Community at Brook Farm, Fruitlands, and Walden

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Cornell University Press, 1997 - 256 pagine

New England Transcendentalism was a vibrant and many-sided movement whose members are probably best remembered for their utopian experiments, their attempts to reconcile the contingent world of history with what they perceived as the stable and patterned world of nature. Richard Francis has written the first book to explore in detail the ideological basis of the three famous experiments during the 1840s: Brook Farm, Fruitlands, and Henry David Thoreau's "community of one" on the shores of Walden Pond.Francis suggests that at the heart of Transcendentalism was a belief that all phenomena are connected in a repetitive sequence. The task was to explain how human society could be reordered to benefit from this seriality. Some members of the movement believed in evolutionary progress, whereas others hoped to be the agents of a sudden millennial transformation. They differed, as well, in their views as to whether the fundamental social unit was the individual, the family, the phalanstery, or the community. The story of the three communities was, inevitably, also the story of particular individuals, and Francis highlights the lives and ideas of such leaders as George Ripley, W. H. Channing, Bronson Alcott, Charles Lane, and Theodore Parker. The consistent underlying beliefs of the New England Transcendentalists have exerted a powerful influence on American intellectual and cultural history ever since.

 

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Transcendental utopias: individual and community at Brook Farm, Fruitlands, and Walden

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A professor at Manchester University known for his novels (e.g., Daggerman, LJ 5/1/80), Francis explores here how the Transcendentalists regarded two of their many communities--Brook Farm and ... Leggi recensione completa

Sommario

CHAPTER
1
CHAPTER
35
CHAPTER THREE
67
CHAPTER FOUR
100
CHAPTER FIVE
140
CHAPTER
174
CHAPTER SEVEN
218
Index
251
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Informazioni sull'autore (1997)

Richard Francis is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University College. His is the author of nine novels and of biographies of Ann Lee, the founder of the Shakers, and Samuel Sewall, one of the Salem witch trial judges.

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