A Historical Guide to Henry David Thoreau (Historical Guides by William E. Cain

By William E. Cain

As an essayist, thinker, ex-pencil producer, infamous hermit, tax protester, and all-around unique philosopher, Thoreau led so singular a lifestyles that he's in many ways an ideal candidate for the ancient and biographical remedies made attainable through the ancient publications to American Authors sequence layout. William E. Cain, the amount editor, contains contributions on his dating with nineteenth century authority and ideas of the land, which may help the volume's succeed in past those that learn Thoreau for illumination to these common readers who love him for embodying the spirit of yank uprising.

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Complimentary reviews by Lydia Child (National AntiSlavery Standard, 16 December 1854) and George Eliot (Westminister Review, January 1856) showed Thoreau's impact on readers of keen judgment and understanding. The first edition sold out in 1859; it was reprinted (280 copies) in March/April 1862, and again (another 280 copies) in November/December of this same year. Thoreau's writing in Walden is wonderful from beginning to end, in, for example, his gruff, satiric account of how and why he launched his Walden enterprise, built his cabin, and simplified his 44 Henry David Thoreau needs, and in his stunning descriptions of the pond as it both changes and remains faithful to itself, different yet the same through the passage of the seasons.

Some social reformers praised resorts for offering physical and spiritual renewal, but others criticized them as wasteful and extravagant. To the abolitionists, resorts were places where wealthy slaveholders took their families to escape from the heat of the summer months, and where northern businessmen, bankers, and merchants bought luxuries with the money gained from commerce with the slaveowning South. In his journal and in Walden Thoreau details the distinctive kind of contact with nature he pursued and the economic independence he maintained to support it, in part to define the difference between his experiment and the tainted types of recreation and renewal to which it might appear akin.

In addition to the account of his trip to the Maine woods for Union Magazine, he revised extensively the manuscript of A Week and started on a second draft of Walden. He continued with his journal and began taking notes on the cultures and traditions of the American Indian that by 1861 totaled 3,000 pages of quotations and comments. Thoreau also presented a number of lectures in Maine and Massachusetts, for which he was paid $20 to $25, including two at Hawthorne's invitation in Salem, November 22,1848, and A Brief Biography 37 February 28,1849, that described his experiences at Walden Pond.

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