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 old and biographical remedies made attainable by way of the old publications to American Authors sequence structure. William E. Cain, the amount editor, contains contributions on his courting 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 resources for A Historical Guide to Henry David Thoreau (Historical Guides to American Authors)
Earlier communities included the Shaker settlement in Mount Lebanon, New York, organized in 1787 and soon replicated elsewhere; the German pietist George Rapp's Harmony Society in western Pennsylvania, begun in 1805; the British reformer Robert Owen and his son Robert Dale Owen's New Harmony, Indiana, established in May 1825, a cooperative settlement intended to replace the competitive, capitalist order and break free from formal religion; and Frances Wright's Owenite community in Nashoba, Tennessee, which started in the fall of 1825 with the goal of educating slaves.
But the book can also be misleading, as Thoreau himself realized. Walden promotes love of nature and energizing contact and communion with it, but the specific life that Thoreau describes is not intended as a model for others. As he emphasizes in the chapter "Economy," "I would not have any one adopt my mode of living on any account. . " The full title of the first edition is Walden; or, Life in the Woods; but for the reprint, Thoreau chose the simpler title Walden, in order to forestall if he could a reader's tendency to conclude that personal transformation required a life in the woods.
The power of the locomotive impressed him, but he hated its effects on the land and its role in promoting commerce and undermining personal freedom: The whistle of the locomotive penetrates my woods summer and winter, sounding like the scream of a hawk sailing over some farmer's yard, informing me that many restless city merchants are arriving within the circle of the town, or adventurous country traders from the other side. As they come under one horizon, they shout their warning to get off the track to the other, heard sometimes through the circles of two towns.
A Historical Guide to Henry David Thoreau (Historical Guides to American Authors) by William E. Cain