The Maine Woods

By Henry David Thoreau; Jeffrey S. Cramer (Editor)
(Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300122831, 360pp.)

Publication Date: December 2009

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"On the 31st of August, 1846, I left Concord in Massachusetts for Bangor and the backwoods of Maine"--thus begins "The Maine Woods," the evocative story of Thoreau's journeys through a familiar yet untouched land. As he explores Mt. Katahdin (an Indian word meaning "highest land"), Lake Chesuncook, the Allagash River, and the East Branch of the Penobscot, Thoreau muses on his own vulnerability and the humility engendered by his solitude in the wilderness. Throughout Thoreau invokes the forest of Maine--the mountains, waterways, fauna, flora, and the people--in his singular style. Echoing "Walden," Thoreau's passionate outcry against the degradation of the environment in "The Maine Woods" will resonate strongly today. This fully annotated gift edition of "The Maine Woods" makes a wonderful companion volume to "Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition" and "I to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau.

About the Author
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, and philosopher, who is best known for his works Walden--a treatise about living in concert with the natural world--and Civil Disobedience, in which he espoused the need to morally resist the actions of an unjust state. Thoreau's work heavily reflects the ideologies of the American transcendentalists, and he has long been considered a leading figure in the movement along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, and, at first, Nathaniel Hawthorne (who changed his views later in life). In addition to his writing, which totaled more than twenty volumes, Thoreau was an active abolitionist, and lectured regularly against the Fugitive Slave Law. Thoreau died in 1862, and is buried along with Louisa May Alcott, Ellery Channing, and other notable Americans in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

Jeffrey S. Cramer is curator of collections at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, an independent research institution that holds the world's most comprehensive collection of Thoreau-related material. Cramer is the editor of "The Portable Thoreau" (Penguin), "Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition," and "I to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau," among other books.
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