Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American essayist, poet, and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the early nineteenth century. He is often identified as the first writer to develop a uniquely American literary style and vision, rather than following in the footsteps of his contemporaries who were strongly influenced by their British cultural heritage. He was considered one of the great orators of the time. His outspoken, uncompromising support for abolitionism later in life caused protest and jeers from crowds when he spoke on the subject. He formulated and first expressed the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his essay Nature (1836) which was the first significant work to establish this new way of looking at the Americas and its raw, natural environment. His Collected Essays, First and Second Series is considered to be one of the 100 greatest books of all time.