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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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Walden and Other Writings

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. His father worked successively as a farmer, a grocer, and a manufacturer of pencils, and the family was frequently in difficult financial straits. After studying locally, Thoreau won admission to Harvard. When Ralph Waldo Emerson moved to Concord in 1835, Thoreau formed a close relationship with him (although the friendship would later give way to mutual criticism) and with others associated with the Transcendentalist group, including Margaret Fuller, Orestes Brownson, Bronson Alcott, Jones Very, and Theodore Parker. He worked in his father's pencil business while keeping the journals that would become his life's work, running to millions of words.

Thoreau took over the Concord Academy for several years, where he taught foreign languages and science, before closing the school in 1841. By now he was regularly publishing poems and essays in The Dial. For a time he worked in Emerson's household as a handyman

Synopsis:

Walden — A week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers — Cape Cod — The Allegash and East Branch — Walking — Civil disobedience — Slavery in Massachusetts — A plea for Captain John Brown — Life without principle.

Synopsis:

With their call for "simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!”, for self-honesty, and for harmony with nature, the writings of Henry David Thoreau are perhaps the most influential philosophical works in all American literature.

The selections in this volume represent Thoreau at his best. Included in their entirety are Walden, his indisputable masterpiece, and his two great arguments for nonconformity, Civil Disobedience and Life Without Principle. A lifetime of brilliant observation of nature--and of himself--is recorded in selections from A Week On The Concord And Merrimack Rivers, Cape Cod, The Maine Woods and The Journal.

About the Author

Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. His father worked successively as a farmer, a grocer, and a manufacturer of pencils, and the family was frequently in difficult financial straits. After studying locally, Thoreau won admission to Harvard. When Ralph Waldo Emerson moved to Concord in 1835, Thoreau formed a close relationship with him (although the friendship would later give way to mutual criticism) and with others associated with the Transcendentalist group, including Margaret Fuller, Orestes Brownson, Bronson Alcott, Jones Very, and Theodore Parker. He worked in his father's pencil business while keeping the journals that would become his life's work, running to millions of words.

Thoreau took over the Concord Academy for several years, where he taught foreign languages and science, before closing the school in 1841. By now he was regularly publishing poems and essays in The Dial. For a time he worked in Emerson's household as a handyman, and in 1845 he built a cabin on some property of Emerson's at Walden Pond, staying for a little over two years: 'My purpose in going to Walden Pond was not to live cheaply nor to live dearly there, but to transact some private business with the fewest obstacles.' (During this time he maintained an active social life in Concord.) He spent a night in jail in 1846 as a protest against slavery, and later explained his motives in the essay 'Civil Disobedience' (1849). His first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), most of which had been written at Walden Pond, was based on a boat trip he took some years earlier with his brother. The book made little impact and sold only a few hundred copies.

Thoreau--who at this time was supporting himself as a surveyor--became increasingly involved in the Abolitionist movement and began to work for the Underground Railroad, sheltering escaped slaves en route to Canada.

Walden, on which he had been working ever since his residence at the pond, went through multiple revisions before he considered it ready for publication. This was intended as the fullest expression of his philosophy: 'Be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought. Every man is the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice.' It was published in 1854 and proved unexpectedly successful.

Thoreau met John Brown in 1857, and following Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry delivered 'A Plea for Captain John Brown' in his defense: 'I know that the mass of my countrymen think that the only righteous use that can be made of Sharpe's rifles and revolvers is to fight duels with them, when we are insulted by other nations, or to hunt Indians, or shoot fugitive slaves with them, or the like. I think that for once the Sharpe's rifles and the revolvers were employed in a righteous cause.' For many years Thoreau had been at work on a projected study of American Indians, compiling thousands of pages of notes and extracts, and in 1861 he traveled to Minnesota, where he visited the Lower Sioux Agency at Redwood. By this time, however, he had contracted tuberculosis and it became clear that he would not live long; he died on May 6, 1862. His later travel writings, The Maine Woods (1864) and Cape Cod (1865), were published posthumously.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780679642022
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Subject:
Social life and customs
Introduction:
Thoreau, Henry David
Editor:
Atkinson, Brooks
Author:
Thoreau, Henry David
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
American
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Authors, American
Subject:
Solitude
Subject:
Walden Woods (Mass.)
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Literary Collections-Essays
Subject:
Literary Collections-American - General
Subject:
Nature-Essays
Subject:
Literary Collections : American - General
Subject:
Literary Collections : Essays
Subject:
Nature : Essays
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Subject:
Philosophy of nature
Subject:
General
Subject:
Walden Woods (Mass.) Social life and customs.
Subject:
Walden Woods
Subject:
Thoreau, Henry David - Homes and haunts -
Subject:
General Philosophy
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Edition Description:
Modern Library
Publication Date:
19920905
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
769

Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Reference

Walden and Other Writings
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Product details 769 pages Random House Publishing Group - English 9780679642022 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Walden — A week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers — Cape Cod — The Allegash and East Branch — Walking — Civil disobedience — Slavery in Massachusetts — A plea for Captain John Brown — Life without principle.
"Synopsis" by , With their call for "simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!”, for self-honesty, and for harmony with nature, the writings of Henry David Thoreau are perhaps the most influential philosophical works in all American literature.

The selections in this volume represent Thoreau at his best. Included in their entirety are Walden, his indisputable masterpiece, and his two great arguments for nonconformity, Civil Disobedience and Life Without Principle. A lifetime of brilliant observation of nature--and of himself--is recorded in selections from A Week On The Concord And Merrimack Rivers, Cape Cod, The Maine Woods and The Journal.

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