Intact Fascicle

Few intact “fascicles” (hand-made booklets) survive, primarily because the fire that nearly destroyed the Emerson family home in 1872 also burned the threads that bound the Almanacks’ “leaves,” or pages, together, but also because during her lifetime Mary Moody Emerson habitually extracted leaves from her manuscripts and circulated them with letters to friends, family, and correspondents.

The fascicle below is intact because Emerson gave it to her dear friend Elizabeth Hoar, the fiancée of Emerson’s nephew Charles Chauncy Emerson. Hoar, who maintained a close relationship with Mary Moody Emerson after Charles’s death, kept this fascicle in her own home, and as a result it escaped the damage that most other Almanacks reflect. On its first page Emerson wrote, “to remind Elizabeth Hoar of her aunt.” It evidences her method of constructing the Almanacks: open at the center of this particular fascicle, prominently visible here is the thread that binds this Almanack’s leaves together.

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MS Am 1280.235: 385 (9). Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association deposit, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

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