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Cape Cod

Henry David Thoreau

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Possibly, the mention of this may please thee. But, remember, there shall be no pleasant sins there; no eating, drinking, singing, dancing, wanton dalliance, and drinking stolen waters, but damned sins, bitter, hellish sins; sins exasperated by torments, cursing God, spite, rage, and blasphemy.—The guilt of all thy sins shall be laid upon thy soul, and be made so many heaps of fuel....

"Sinner, I beseech thee, realize the truth of these things. Do not go about to dream that this is derogatory to God's mercy, and nothing but a vain fable to scare children out of their wits withal. God can be merciful, though he make thee miserable. He shall have monuments enough of that precious attribute, shining like stars in the place of glory, and singing eternal hallelujahs to the praise of Him that redeemed them, though, to exalt the power of his justice, he damn sinners heaps upon heaps."

"But," continues the same writer, "with the advantage of proclaiming th. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I think I might not be cut out for travel/nature books. Thoreau's writing is brilliant, and, having grown up on Long Island, I love the beach and ocean. So this should be a very good fit for me. And yet I found it sometimes inspiring, and at other times a bit of a chore.

I'd like to think that the re

Assuredly worth adding to one's Thoreau library....some fine, fun, sea-swept writing here. If you want to know what it felt like to walk along the shore of Cape Cod in the 1800s--and see everything that Thoreau saw--this is the book for you.

This includes Thoreau's funniest, and his most plangent writing: plangent, early in "The Shipwreck," where he witnessed the fairly common wreck of a square-rigger from Europe, this one from Ireland. I do conflate this shipwreck with the one that took the life--and the great MS on Garibaldi-- of Marg

My hat trick – my third review of the three classic naturalist books about Cape Cod. (The other two are The Outermost House by Henry Beston - 1928, and The House on Nauset Marsh by Wyman Richardson – 1947.) In the edition I am reviewing, Beston wrote the introduction.

This is very much a naturalist

Do you enjoy 19th century wordplay? Do you speak Latin, French, and Ancient Greek fluently? Do you understand references to obscure mythological figures? Do you know the scientific names of flora found throughout New England? Do you enjoy measuring quantities in unconventional units, like "30 rods"

This book is based on three trips that Thoreau took to Cape Cod in Oct 1849, June 1850 and July 1855. The second trip he took alone, the first and third with one companion. He spent totally three weeks in Cape Cod. He traveled the length of the peninsula along both the bay side and the Atlantic, acr

A Cape Cod Walk With Thoreau

Thoreau visited Cape Cod in 1849, 1850, and 1853. These trips formed the basis for a series of essays, several of which Thoreau published in magazines. After Thoreau's death, the essays were gathered together and published as "Cape Cod" in 1865.

Thoreau's "Cape Cod" is dif

Henry David Thoreau’s “Cape Cod” reads much more like a traditional travel book than most of his work, and I found it quite accessible, even entertaining, for that reason. While I don’t think that “Cape Cod” reaches the philosophical depth of “Walden,” or even “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Ri

In his day as pioneers ventured West to settle America, it’s intriguing that, as a non-conformist, Thoreau ventured East. He views the shore of Cape Cod as a sort of neutral ground and an advantageous point for contemplating the world: “There is naked Nature, inhumanly sincere, wasting no thought on

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) is probably best known for “Walden” and “Civil Disobedience.” Neither has the readability of “Cape Cod,” one of the accounts he wrote of his extensive travels. He was a great travel writer, eager to describe the places he visited, using a more relaxed tone with lighte

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