RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 32855735 LA English T1 Emerson among the eccentrics : a group portrait A1 Baker, Carlos,, PB Viking PP New York YR 1996 SN 067086675X 9780670866755 AB When Carlos Baker died in 1987, he had completed all but the finishing touches on what will be considered his masterpiece. An esteemed literary critic and mentor to several generations of younger scholars, Carlos Baker had a lifelong interest in the writers of the American Renaissance, particularly in Ralph Waldo Emerson, its intellectual centerpiece, but also in Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Amos Bronson Alcott, and Margaret Fuller, all of whom made Concord a mecca for American intellectuals, with Emerson undoubtedly its foremost citizen. Lucky for us that in his last years Carlos Baker poured his resources, wisdom, and affections into this remarkable book. Emerson Among the Eccentrics is that rarest of accomplishments: a magnificent biography that functions equally as a group portrait and a highly detailed reconstruction of an entire area. Carlos Baker was indefatigable in going through all of the principal characters, journals, and correspondence to reconstruct, minutely, entire days; the result is a vivid and textured mosaic not just of the group's interrelationships but of their daily lives - what they ate, what they wore, what they did for entertainment, what they valued and what they did not, how they "managed" life. All of this, though, went to serve Baker's larger aim and hope of bringing Emerson to life in his quotidian relationships: as young man and old; husband, father, son, and brother; preacher, lecturer, editor, and clubman; farmer, householder, host, and guest.