Letters to a Spiritual Seeker

Letters to a Spiritual Seeker

4.5 2
by Henry David Thoreau, Bradley P. Dean, Harrison G. Blake

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"With quotable lines on every page, this is an important and affecting addition to the Thoreau shelf." —BooklistSee more details below


"With quotable lines on every page, this is an important and affecting addition to the Thoreau shelf." —Booklist

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Dean (editor, Faith in a Seed) compiles for the first time in one volume the letters of Henry David Thoreau to Harrison G.O. Blake. After meeting Thoreau, Blake wrote to him asking for his thoughts on matters relating to the soul. Blake, an ex-minister and single parent, was struggling with his own spiritual development and hoped that Thoreau's words might rouse him to "a truer and purer life." Of the 50 letters collected here, dating from 1848 to 1861, 49 are from Thoreau to Blake. They start off meekly but over time develop into a rich, deeply spiritual discussion. Thoreau advises on earning a living, courage, materialism, sex, morality, solitude, religion, and stillness. Although some of the letters are brief and logistical, many bring out the principles that Thoreau is best remembered for his self-reliance, discipline, enjoyment of nature, and desire to live on his own terms. Sure to be welcomed by Thoreau lovers as well as readers of spiritual texts and the voluntary simplicity movement, this book is recommended for large public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/04.] Jaime Anderson, Cty. of Henrico P.L., VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Terry Tempest Williams
“I open this book at random and find daily strength in Thoreau's words that gives me courage. . . .This is a book I keep on my desk as a record of shared faith.”

Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Bradley P. Dean, an independent scholar living in West Peterborough, New Hampshire, has written extensively on Thoreau's life and writings, and has edited two of Thoreau's previously unpublished booklength manuscripts.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
July 12, 1817
Date of Death:
May 6, 1862
Place of Birth:
Concord, Massachusetts
Place of Death:
Concord, Massachusetts
Concord Academy, 1828-33); Harvard University, 1837

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