© 1999

Emerson’s Sublime Science


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Eric Wilson
    Pages 17-49
  3. Eric Wilson
    Pages 50-75
  4. Eric Wilson
    Pages 76-97
  5. Eric Wilson
    Pages 98-127
  6. Eric Wilson
    Pages 128-152
  7. Eric Wilson
    Pages 153-175
  8. Eric Wilson
    Pages 176-179
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 180-204

About this book


Emerson's Sublime Science explores relationships among Emerson's poetics, theory of the sublime, and engagement with electromagnetism. The book illustrates how Davy's chemistry and Faraday's physics revealed to Emerson a sublime universe in which matter is boundless electrical force. It argues that Emerson translated this discovery into a sublime writing style crafted to galvanize readers with the insight that matter is energy. In illuminating Emerson's project, this study also uncovers connections among British Romanticism, American Romanticism, and nineteenth-century science.


America argue energy experience knowledge nature physics poetics poetry project Romanticism science style writing

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Wake Forest UniversityUSA

About the authors

Eric Wilson is Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University.

Bibliographic information


'Wilson's book is interesting in the way it combines a close reading of Emerson's Nature (1836) with a wide range of philosophical ideas and a survey of scientific developments from Renaissance hermeticism via electromagnetism to quantum theory.' - Ginette Verstraete, Ambix 49