"Some time perhaps in 1870, Mr. Emerson learned that a London publisher was intending, without consulting him, to make up a volume of his uncollected writings, from the “Dial” and elsewhere. He was much disturbed by this intelligence, and wrote to his friend, Mr. Moncure Conway, to stop the publication if possible. In this Mr. Conway succeeded, but only upon the agreement that Mr. Emerson would himself make such a collection, adding some new pieces, and would send advance-sheets to England, so that the book might appear simultaneously in both countries."
The project was beset by problems. The elderly Emerson lost his manuscripts in a fire in 1872 and the publisher who instigated the project, J.C. Hotten, died the following year. This correspondence largely ends with Hotten's death, although it includes a small number of letters to his successor, Andrew Chatto (who renamed the firm Chatto and Windus). By this time the elderly Emerson's creative powers were fading and the project was completed with the assistance of J.E. Cabot.
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