Mr. Emerson's Wife (Hardcover)

By Amy Belding Brown

St. Martin's Press, 9780312336370, 336pp.

Publication Date: April 21, 2005

Summer '11 Reading Group List

“This is an engrossing read about Ralph Waldo Emerson's wife. When her marriage becomes less than fulfilling, Lidian's friendship with Henry David Thoreau turns into more. This book has been a favorite with our store's book club and others that visit our store. If you like historical fiction, this is sure to please.”
— Shelly Plumb, Harleysville Books, Harleysville, PA
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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 family'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 encounters the truth of her own character and learns that even our faults can lead us to independence.

About the Author

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," "American Way" and other national and regional magazines. The wife of a United Church of Christ minister and mother of four, she works as an educator and historical interpreter at the Orchard House museum in Concord, Massachusetts.

Praise For Mr. Emerson's Wife

"Amy Belding Brown's novel is a beautiful work that renders effortlessly the sentiments and sensuousness of a woman who is, to use Ms. Brown's own terms, "at war with herself, a woman of opposites who yearns to reconcile her mental acuity with her emotional sensitivity." The spiritual, emotional and intellectual lives she is after illuminating for us are wonderfully ambitious, and it is quite refreshing to see that ambition backed up with a quality of writing that bears up to the weight of its subject matter."
- Bret Lott, author of A Song I Knew by Heart