By R. Todd Felton
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Extra resources for A Journey into the Transcendentalists' New England (ArtPlace series)
After Little Women had been published to tremendous success, Alcott mailed the forty dollars back to Fields with the note: 1849 she began publishing a journal of her own, Aesthetic Papers. Although it lasted just one issue, it was particularly notable for publishing an essay by a still relatively unknown writer who had recently returned from a sojourn by a lake. The essay, “Resistance to Civil Government” by Henry David Thoreau, has become one of the bestknown works of the period (under its later title, “Civil Disobedience”), and has certainly outlasted the fame of the magazine in which it first appeared.
The building then became home, successively, to a string of other bookstores, a haberdashery, a photo supply store, and a pizza joint. In 1960 it was saved from becoming a parking lot by the nonprofit group Historic Boston. Now a protected historic site, it has been home to the Globe Corner Bookstore and the Freedom Trail Foundation and is now a jewelry store. In an ironic twist, the small, two-story brick building is now dwarfed by the enormous glass-walled Borders bookstore just across the street.
Emerson, Alcott, Hawthorne, Fuller, Hedge, Channing, Parker, and a number of others all visited Europe at least once in their lives, and the influence of European Romanticism on the Transcendentalists is clearly discernible. The busiest harbor in America, Boston was the primary departure point for Europe during the midnineteenth century. Emerson first left for Europe on Christmas Day, 1832. On that trip he explored Malta, Italy, France, England, and Scotland, and managed to have interviews with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and Thomas Carlyle.