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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

While much of the exchange between the Transcendentalists occurred in Boston, without a doubt the heart of the movement was in the nearby small town of Conocrd. Concord was the birthplace for Henry David Thoreau and a long-time home for members of Ralph Waldo Emerson's extended family. Having spent boyhood summers in the town, Emerson settled there as an adult. The Hawthornes and Alcotts also lived in the small town for some years. By the 1850s, Concord had become a pilgrimage destination as people from all over the United States and the world came to pay homage to Emerson. This article is far less about how we approach, see, feel, and appropriate Concord today than about how Concord was approached, seen, felt, and appropriated by William Dean Howells and his contemporaries, who visited the town and took it into their respective consciousnesses from the middle of the nineteenth century into the early twentieth.

Keywords: Concord, contemporaries, William Dean Howells, self-discovery

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