Ellen Sturgis Hooper

Biography of Ellen Sturgis Hooper

Ellen Sturgis Hooper (February 17, 1812 – November 3, 1848) was an American poet. A member of the Transcendental Club, she was widely regarded as one of the most gifted poets among the New England Transcendentalists. Her work is occasionally reprinted in anthologies.

She was, besides, an acquaintance of William Ellery Channing, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry James, Sr..

Ellen Sturgis was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of William F. Sturgis and Elizabeth M. Davis. Her father was a wealthy Boston merchant.

Her poetry was regularly commissioned by Ralph Waldo Emerson and published in The Dial. Her poems also appeared in Elizabeth Peabody's Æsthetic Papers (1849), and the final stanzas of one of her poems, The Wood-Fire, appear in Henry David Thoreau's novel, Walden (1854).

She married Robert W. Hooper, and the couple had three children, one of whom, Marian "Clover" Hooper, married Henry Adams and became a celebrated Washington, D.C., hostess and photographer.

Ellen Sturgis Hooper's early death in Boston, at age 36, is said to have "enshrined her in the memories of her associates as a Transcendental angel."

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I SLEPT and dreamed that life was Beauty:
I woke and found that life was Duty:
Was then thy dream a shadowy lie?
Toil on, sad heart, courageously,
And thou shalt find thy dream to be
A noonday light and truth to thee

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