Book: Walden , by Henry David Thoreau, ISBN10: 1420922610, ISBN13: 9781420922615, Digireads.com, January 2005, Paperback
"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live," Henry David Thoreau once observed. The American poet, essayist and philosopher certainly held himself to that standard -- living out the tenets of Transcendentalism, recounting the experience in his masterpiece, Walden (1854), and passionately advocating human rights and civil liberties in the famous essay, Civil Disobedience (1849).
Henry Thoreau is considered, along with Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman and Nathaniel Hawthorne, as one of the leading figures in early American literature, and Walden is without doubt his most influential book. It recounts the author's experiences living in a small house in the woods around Walden Pond near Concord in Massachusetts. Thoreau constructed the house himself, with the help of a few friends, and one of the reasons why he moved into it was in an attempt to see if he could live independently and away from society. The result is an intriguing work that blends natural history with philosophical insights and includes many illuminating quotations from other authors. Thoreau's wooden shack has won a place for itself in the collective American psyche, a remarkable achievement for a book with such modest and rustic beginnings.
Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1817, and attended Concord Academy and Harvard. After a short time spent as a teacher, he worked as a surveyor and a handyman, sometimes employed by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Between 1845 and 1847 Thoreau lived in a house he had built himself on Emerson's property near to Walden Pond. During this period he completed A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers and wrote the first draft of Walden, the book that is generally judged to be his masterpiece. He died of tuberculosis in 1862, and much of his writing was published posthumously.
The handsome volumes in The Collectors Library present great works of world literature in a handy hardback format. Printed on high-quality paper and bound in real cloth, each complete and unabridged volume has a specially commissioned afterword, brief biography of the author and a further-reading list. This easily accessible series offers readers the perfect opportunity to discover, or rediscover, some of the world's most endearing literary works.
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Nancy Szokan - Washington Post Book World
Each [volume] is preceded by a substantive, lively and idiosyncratic essay. . . . Together, the essays are a mini-course in Thoreau and the trends he launched in American thought.
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