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A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

Henry David Thoreau

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Joseph Wolff, the missionary, distributed copies of Robinson Crusoe, translated into Arabic, among the Arabs, and they made a great sensation. "Robinson Crusoe's adventures and wisdom," says he, "were read by Mahometans in the market-places of Sanaa, Hodyeda, and Loheya, and admired and believed!" On reading the book, the Arabians exclaimed, "O, that Robinson Crusoe must have been a great prophet!"

To some extent, mythology is only the most ancient history and biography. So far from being false or fabulous in the common sense, it contains only enduring and essential truth, the I and you, the here and there, the now and then, being omitted. Either time or rare wisdom writes it. Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years. The poet is he who can write some pure mythology to-day without the aid of posterity. In how few words, for instance, the Greeks would have told the story of Abelard and Heloise, making but a sentence for our classic. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

In March of 1845, 29 year-old Thoreau borrowed an axe and went into Walden woods about a mile and a half from Concord, Massachusetts to build a simple cabin in which he lived the next two years alone. In 1854 he published Walden in which he describes his getting away...more

Best book ever written, not the easiest to read but poetically intoxicating.

There are perturbations in our orbits produced by the influence of outlying spheres, and no astronomer has ever yet calculated the elements of that undiscovered world which produces them. I perceive in the common train of my thoughts a natural and uninterrupted sequence, each implying the next, o...more

Υπεραγαπημενος και μοναδικός Θορω! Το βιβλίο δε συναγωνίζεται βέβαια την Ουολντεν, αλλά είναι μαγικό το πώς στην ουσία διαβάζεις ποίηση μεταστοιχειωμενη σε πεζό λόγο! Τα λόγια είναι περιττά!

Library of America editions are always a good bet and this one is no exception. A convenient collection perfect for taking along as a traveling companion.

Back to Walden after all these years. Much to savor.

Thoreau In The Library Of America

While reading the four books of Henry David Thoreau (1817 -- 1862) included in this volume, I was reminded of the piano sonata no. 2, the "Concord" sonata by the American composer Charles Ives (1874 -- 1954) and decided to listen to it again to complement my readi...more

This was like reading three different books in one. First, the nature book about the sights and sounds on the journey. I liked that part a lot. There was history woven into it with perfection. Loved it. But then there was the whole philosophical thing going on. Sometimes I liked it better than ot...more

HDT is magic. He's a poet naturalist that embodies much of what was great about America in his time, and what can and should still be great about the country. It feels like his spirit, my agnostic views notwithstanding, surround you like a comforting long lost friend.

I just read Walden from this compilation of Thoreau’s writing, but I skimmed the rest. I’ve heard Thoreau quoted so many times throughout my life, and have never picked up one of his books. I think Walden is probably his most well-known work, and therefore, a good place to start. He has good insi...more

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