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2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Cape Cod (Penguin Nature Classics)


Cape Cod (Penguin Nature Classics) Cover

ISBN13: 9780140170023
ISBN10: 0140170022
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Thoreau's classic account of his meditative, beach-combing walking trips to Cape Cod in the early 1850s, reflecting on the elemental forces of the sea

Cape Cod chronicles Henry David Thoreaus journey of discovery along this evocative stretch of Massachusetts coastline, during which time he came to understand the complex relationship between the sea and the shore. He spent his nights in lighthouses, in fishing huts, and on isolated farms. He passed his days wandering the beaches, where he observed the wide variety of life and death offered up by the ocean. Through these observations, Thoreau discovered that the only way to truly know the sea—its depth, its wildness, and the natural life it contained—was to study it from the shore. Like his most famous work, Walden, Cape Cod is full of Thoreaus unique perceptions and precise descriptions. But it is also full of his own joy and wonder at having stumbled across a new frontier so close to home, where a man may stand and “put all America behind him.”

Part of the Penguin Nature Library

Series Editor: Edward Hoagland

With an Introduction by Paul Theroux


Introduced by American poet and literary critic Robert Pinsky--himself a resident of Cape Cod--this volume contains some of Thoreau's most beautiful writings. In the plants, animals, topography, weather, and people of Cape Cod, he finds "another world."

About the Author

Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1817. He graduated from Harvard in 1837, the same year he began his lifelong Journal. Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau became a key member of the Transcendentalist movement that included Margaret Fuller and Bronson Alcott. The Transcendentalists' faith in nature was tested by Thoreau between 1845 and 1847 when he lived for twenty-six months in a homemade hut at Walden Pond. While living at Walden, Thoreau worked on the two books published during his lifetime: Walden (1854) and A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849). Several of his other works, including The Maine Woods, Cape Cod, and Excursions, were published posthumously. Thoreau died in Concord, at the age of forty-four, in 1862.

Table of Contents

I. The Shipwreck

II. Stage-coach Views

III. The Plains of Nauset

IV. The Beach

V. The Wellfleet Oysterman

VI. The Beach Again

VII. Across the Cape

VIII. The Highland Light

IX. The Sea and the Desert

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

peter in port, September 18, 2011 (view all comments by peter in port)
Not one of Thoreau's better known works, this collection of essays about two visits the author made to Cape Cod is a fascinating window into the life of Cape Codders in the 1850s. Their lives were more like seamen than land occupiers, so intimately tied were they to the sea and its perils. Good reading during hurricane season.
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peter in port, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by peter in port)
Henry David Thoreau wrote a series of essays, here collected in book form, after visits to Cape Cod, primarily its eastern end, where the National Seashore is, and from Eastham, through Truro to Provincetown. He describes the peninsula as really being a part of the sea where shipwrecks occur frequently and "wreckers," i.e., persons who walk the beach combing it for flotsam and jetsam from shipwrecks, are an accepted class of vocation. Thoreau's description of his encounter with a family in Wellfleet, as he spends the night with an oysterman family, is priceless, with the old man of the family spiting tobacco juice in the fireplace adjacent to the breakfast food being cooked. An unusual but valuable example of Thoreau's writing. His descriptions of the agricultural practices and the native fauna are a glimpse into life in the 1800s.
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Product Details

Theroux, Paul
Theroux, Paul
Introduction by:
Theroux, Paul
Theroux, Paul
Thoreau, Henry David
Theroux, Paul
Penguin Books
New York, NY :
Description and travel
Travel and travel guides
North America
United States - New England - Massachusetts
Cape cod (mass.)
Thoreau, Henry David
Cape Cod (Mass.) Description and travel.
Cape Cod
History & Surveys - Modern
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Thoreau, Henry David - Travel -
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Penguin Nature Classics
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.83x5.01x.75 in. .60 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » US History » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Reference
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Cape Cod (Penguin Nature Classics) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140170023 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Introduced by American poet and literary critic Robert Pinsky--himself a resident of Cape Cod--this volume contains some of Thoreau's most beautiful writings. In the plants, animals, topography, weather, and people of Cape Cod, he finds "another world."

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