A Transcendentalist in New York: Thoreau’s Staten Island Experience

By Patrick Raftery

Most considerations of New York's literary history involve obvious writers - artists like Brooklyn's Walt Whitman and Manhattan's Edith Wharton. New York's "forgotten borough" - Staten Island - is almost never considered as having any claim to literary history or distinction at all. And yet American writers like Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Henry James and Edwin Arlington Robinson all had connections to the island, whether through family or actually having called the island home at one point in their lives. Of all these writers, it was Thorea...

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