Fake Quote Patrol: Emerson Never Said This

According to sartorial experts writing for Esquire and Country Life, famed New England author, poet and essayist Emerson once declared: “The sense of being perfectly well dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquillity which religion is powerless to bestow.”

No, he did not say that! That statement is the antithesis of that for all he stood! Here is the quote and context that appeared in Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1883 and Letters and Social Aims, 1885:

I am not ignorant,—I have heard with admiring submission the experience of the lady who declared “that the sense of being perfectly well dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquillity which religion is powerless to bestow.” Thus much for manners: but we are not content with pantomime; we say, this is only for the eyes. We want real relations of the mind and the heart ; we want friendship; we want knowledge; we want virtue; a more inward existence to read the history of each other.

I’m with Emerson!

5 thoughts on “Fake Quote Patrol: Emerson Never Said This

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