×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Letters to a Spiritual Seeker
     

Letters to a Spiritual Seeker

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

See All Formats & Editions

Henry David Thoreau is famous for the literary excellence of his political and nature writings. But in 1848 his friend Harrison Blake understood that the "true significance of [Thoreau's] life" was in fact spiritual and presciently asked the then little-known Thoreau for guidance in finding a path of his own. The result was a regular exchange of letters for the

Overview

Henry David Thoreau is famous for the literary excellence of his political and nature writings. But in 1848 his friend Harrison Blake understood that the "true significance of [Thoreau's] life" was in fact spiritual and presciently asked the then little-known Thoreau for guidance in finding a path of his own. The result was a regular exchange of letters for the remaining thirteen years of Thoreau's life, charting the evolution of his skills as a writer and thinker. Initially the letters were directed to Blake alone, but with time (and Thoreau's knowledge) he shared them with friends, and they took on a broader dimension. What is exceptional about Thoreau is that his writing is timeless -- his reflections on spirituality will resonate with people today, as they did with Blake and his friends in the 1840s. The possibilities and limits of spirituality, the role of vocation in developing one's spiritual life, the importance of a direct relationship between the individual and God -- Thoreau discusses these and more in his letters to Blake. The fifty letters, assembled and annotated here for the first time in their own volume by Bradley P. Dean -- who has made the editing of Thoreau's manuscripts his life's work -- are by turns earnest, oracular, witty, playful, practical -- and deeply insightful and inspiring.

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

ISBN-13:
9780393059410
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
08/09/2004
Pages:
266
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
Education:
Concord Academy, 1828-33); Harvard University, 1837

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Letters To A Spiritual Seeker 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thoreau's letters to H.G.O. Blake are truly inspirational. Thoreau points the way to a rewarding, spiritually uplifting life. One that places emphasis on life itself, not on the acquisition of material possessions which so frequently dominate one's life. One of the most impressive books I've ever read. 'This is a book for everyone who does not wish to come to the end of his life and discover that he has not lived.'