Mr. Emerson's Wife
By Amy Belding Brown
(St. Martin's Griffin, Paperback, 9780312336387, 336pp.)
Publication Date: May 30, 2006
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In this novel about Ralph Waldo Emerson's wife, Lidian, Amy Belding Brown examines the emotional landscape of love and marriage. Living in the shadow of one of the most famous men of her time, Lidian becomes deeply disappointed by marriage, but consigned to public silence by social conventions and concern for her children and her husband's reputation. Drawn to the erotic energy and intellect of close family friend Henry David Thoreau, she struggles to negotiate the confusing territory between love and friendship while maintaining her moral authority and inner strength. In the course of the book, she deals with overwhelming social demands, faces devastating personal loss, and discovers the deepest meaning of love. Lidian eventually discovers the truth of her own character and learns that even our faults can lead us to independence.
Amy Belding Brown, a graduate of Bates College, received her master of fine arts degree from Vermont College. Her publication credits include Yankee, Good Housekeeping, and American Way, among others. The wife of a United Church of Christ minister and mother of four, she is on the staff of the Orchard House museum in Concord, Massachusetts.