The Quotable Thoreau

Overview

Few writers are more quotable than Henry David Thoreau. His books, essays, journals, poems, letters, and unpublished manuscripts contain an inexhaustible treasure of epigrams and witticisms, from the famous ("The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation") to the obscure ("Who are the estranged? Two friends explaining") and the surprising ("I would exchange my immortality for a glass of small beer this hot weather"). The Quotable Thoreau, the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of Thoreau quotations...

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The Quotable Thoreau

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Overview

Few writers are more quotable than Henry David Thoreau. His books, essays, journals, poems, letters, and unpublished manuscripts contain an inexhaustible treasure of epigrams and witticisms, from the famous ("The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation") to the obscure ("Who are the estranged? Two friends explaining") and the surprising ("I would exchange my immortality for a glass of small beer this hot weather"). The Quotable Thoreau, the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of Thoreau quotations ever assembled, gathers more than 2,000 memorable passages from this iconoclastic American author, social reformer, environmentalist, and self-reliant thinker. Including Thoreau's thoughts on topics ranging from sex to solitude, manners to miracles, government to God, life to death, and everything in between, the book captures Thoreau's profundity as well as his humor ("If misery loves company, misery has company enough"). Drawing primarily on The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, published by Princeton University Press, The Quotable Thoreau is thematically arranged, fully indexed, richly illustrated, and thoroughly documented. For the student of Thoreau, it will be invaluable. For those who think they know Thoreau, it will be a revelation. And for the reader seeking sheer pleasure, it will be a joy.

  • Over 2,000 quotations on more than 150 subjects
  • Richly illustrated with historic photographs and drawings
  • Thoreau on himself and his contemporaries
  • Thoreau's contemporaries on Thoreau
  • Biographical time line
  • Appendix of misquotations and misattributions
  • Fully indexed
  • Suggestions for further reading
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Henry David Thoreau is one of the most oft-quoted essayists in the American literary canon, and now his sage aphorisms are gathered together in a beautifully compiled and impressively comprehensive volume. Edited by Cramer, curator of collections at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, this volume draws from well-known works such as Walden and A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers as well as Thoreau's journals, letters, and other papers. . . . This volume will appear to both casual, browsing readers and to researchers needing an authoritative source on the words of Thoreau.
American Reference Books Annual
This quotable book is a handy guide and should find its way onto the shelves of any library, public or academic, school or special. But given its price at under $20, it should fall on the shelves of every American. While Thoreau will always smell something of the pine woods to some of us, those woods are our very own.
— Mark Y. Herring
American Reference Books Annual - Mark Y. Herring
This quotable book is a handy guide and should find its way onto the shelves of any library, public or academic, school or special. But given its price at under $20, it should fall on the shelves of every American. While Thoreau will always smell something of the pine woods to some of us, those woods are our very own.
Historical Journal of Massachusetts - Jeffrey Mifflin
The Quotable Thoreau is not meant to be read all at once. It should, rather, be savored bit by bit for maximum engagement, preferably in outdoor settings at various times of the year. Readers would be well advised to digest a page or two each day, consider the passages, and accept or reject them according to preference.
From the Publisher
Recipient of an Umhoefer Prize for Achievement in Humanities, Arts and Humanities Foundation in 2011
Selected for “The Best of the Best” Program at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference

"Henry David Thoreau is one of the most oft-quoted essayists in the American literary canon, and now his sage aphorisms are gathered together in a beautifully compiled and impressively comprehensive volume. Edited by Cramer, curator of collections at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, this volume draws from well-known works such as Walden and A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers as well as Thoreau's journals, letters, and other papers. . . . This volume will appear to both casual, browsing readers and to researchers needing an authoritative source on the words of Thoreau."Choice

"This quotable book is a handy guide and should find its way onto the shelves of any library, public or academic, school or special. But given its price at under $20, it should fall on the shelves of every American. While Thoreau will always smell something of the pine woods to some of us, those woods are our very own."—Mark Y. Herring, American Reference Books Annual

"The Quotable Thoreau is not meant to be read all at once. It should, rather, be savored bit by bit for maximum engagement, preferably in outdoor settings at various times of the year. Readers would be well advised to digest a page or two each day, consider the passages, and accept or reject them according to preference."—Jeffrey Mifflin, Historical Journal of Massachusetts

"The Quotable Thoreau is thematically arranged, fully indexed, richly illustrated, and thoroughly documented. For the student of Thoreau, it will be invaluable. For those who think they know Thoreau, it will be a revelation. And for the reader seeking sheer pleasure, it will be a joy."World Book Industry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691139975
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/5/2011
  • Pages: 552
  • Sales rank: 960,553
  • Product dimensions: 4.50 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Henry David Thoreau

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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    1. Also Known As:
      David Henry Thoreau (birth name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 12, 1817
    2. Place of Birth:
      Concord, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      May 6, 1862
    2. Place of Death:
      Concord, Massachusetts

Table of Contents

Preface xiii
A Note on the Texts xix
Introduction: Thoreau’s Garment of Art xxi
On Pronouncing the Name Thoreau xxxvii
A Thoreau Chronology xliii

Thoreau Describes Himself 3
Questions 15
The Thoughts and Words of Henry D. Thoreau 19
Beauty 19
Brute Neighbors: Animals, Birds, Fish, and Insects 22
Change 31
Character 34
Charity and Philanthropy 38
Children 43
Cities 46
Conservation 49
Conversation and Talk 58
Day and Night 60
Dress and Fashion 65
Education and Learning 70
Expectation 77
Experience 80
Farmers and Farming 83
Food and Diet 87
Freedom and Slavery 92
Friendship 107
Genius 116
Good and Evil 119
Government and Politics 121
Health and Illness 127
The Heard and the Unheard 131
Sound 131
Silence 135
Music 137

The Heavens: Sun, Moon, and Stars 141
Heroes and the Heroic: Courage and Fear, Right and Wrong 143
Higher Law 146
Human Nature 148
The Mass of Men 148
Individuality 156
Hunting and Fishing 158
Imagination 163
Indians 166
Institutions 173
Land: Mountains, Bogs, and Meadows 177
Life and Death 180
From His Death-Bed 192
Literary Matters 193
Writing and Writers 193
Poets and Poetry 206
Books 210
Love 218
Manners 220
Nature 223
News, Newspapers, and the Press 236
Observation 241
Opinion and Advice 246
Past, Present, and Future 254
Possessions 256
Poverty and Wealth 259

Religious Concerns 265
Religion and Religions 265
Faith and Spirit 268
God 271
Science 275
The Seasons 278
Simplicity 288
Society 293
Solitude 298
Success 303
Temperament and Attitude 307
Thoughts and Thinking 316
Time 324
Travel and Home 327
Trees and Woods 335
Truth and Sincerity 342
Walking 349
Water: Rivers, Ponds, and Oceans 353
Weather: Rain, Snow, and Wind 358
Wildness 364
Wisdom and Ignorance 369
Women 372
Work and Business 376
Thoreau Describes His Contemporaries 430
Thoreau Described by His Contemporaries: 439
Appendix: Misquotations and Misattributions 465
Bibliography 471
Index 477

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