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 existence that he's in many ways an ideal candidate for the historic and biographical remedies made attainable through the historic courses to American Authors sequence layout. William E. Cain, the quantity editor, comprises contributions on his dating with nineteenth century authority and ideas of the land, which can assist the volume's achieve past those that learn Thoreau for illumination to these common readers who love him for embodying the spirit of yankee uprising.

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Additional info for A Historical Guide to Henry David Thoreau (Historical Guides to American Authors)

Sample text

He seems to have envisioned writing a big book like Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States (1851-1857) or Lewis Henry Morgan's League of the Iroquois (1851). In addition, he worked diligently on his natural history studies, collecting specimens, keeping records of the arrival of birds and the appearance of flowers, and examining the stages of growth of trees. More than anything else, in the 1850s Thoreau continued to A Brief Biography 41 write and, despite the failure of A Week, struggled to get his work into print.

Two were under way nearby: Brook Farm, begun in April 1841, with Hawthorne as one of its first residents—he would recall his experiences, buoyant at first but soon jaded, in his novel The Blithedale Romance (1852); and Fruitlands, in Harvard, Massachusetts, not far from Concord, where Alcott and his family and a few soulmates dwelled with little success from mid- to late 1844. Like many Utopian ventures, Brook Farm and Fruitlands were efforts to construct Christian community on a new basis and had roots that reached back to the revivalism of the Second Great Awakening.

Lost my time—nay, almost my identity. , 5:188). In his own journal, February 1856, Emerson stated: If I knew only Thoreau, I should think cooperation of good men impossible. Must we always talk for victory, & never once for truth, for comfort, & joy. Centrality he has, & penetration, strong understanding, & the higher gifts—the insight of the real or from the real, & the moral rectitude that belongs to it; but all this and all his resources of wit & invention are lost to me in every experiment, year after year, that I make, to hold intercourse with his mind.

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