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3.5 118
by Thoreau, William Hope (Read by)

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The ultimate gift edition of Walden for bibliophiles, aficionados, and scholars.

Thoreau’s literary classic, an elegantly written record of his experiment in simple living, has engaged readers and thinkers for a century and a half. This edition of Walden is the first to set forth an authoritative text with generous annotations. Thoreau scholar Jeffrey S.


The ultimate gift edition of Walden for bibliophiles, aficionados, and scholars.

Thoreau’s literary classic, an elegantly written record of his experiment in simple living, has engaged readers and thinkers for a century and a half. This edition of Walden is the first to set forth an authoritative text with generous annotations. Thoreau scholar Jeffrey S. Cramer has meticulously corrected errors and omissions from previous editions of Walden and here provides illuminating notes on the biographical, historical, and geographical contexts of Thoreau’s life.

Cramer’s newly edited text is based on the original 1854 edition of Walden, with emendations taken from Thoreau’s draft manuscripts, his own markings on the page proofs, and notes in his personal copy of the book. In the editor’s notes to the volume, Cramer quotes from sources Thoreau actually read, showing how he used, interpreted, and altered these sources. Cramer also glosses Walden with references to Thoreau’s essays, journals, and correspondence. With the wealth of material in this edition, readers will find an unprecedented opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique and fascinating world of Thoreau. Anyone who has read and loved Walden will want to own and treasure this gift edition. Those wishing to read Walden for the first time will not find a better guide than Jeffrey S. Cramer.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Henry David Thoreau's classic, first published in 1854 and reporting on his experiences at the eponymous site where he lived in physical and social independence during the mid-1840's, receives refreshing treatment here. William Hope reads leisurely but with feeling, offering listeners the illusion that the author is speaking directly to them. The abridgements are not substantive, so listeners will feel that they have become acquainted with the complexities of a text that is both orderly and sprinkled with irony and other literary devices. The chapters are tastefully set off by musical interludes that complement Thoreau's own rhythms. Not only is this an excellent alternative for students assigned to read the text that is often offered in tiny print without benefit of margins, but it is also possible to suggest this to thoughtful teens who are seeking an intellectually engaging listening experience for their personal enjoyment. Hope's pacing invites readers with minimal skills to accompany their print foray with his narration. The careful editing here assures that they will not become lost between page and sound.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Washington Post Book World
Each [volume] is preceded by a substantive, lively and idiosyncratic essay. . . . Together, the essays are a mini-course in Thoreau and the trends he launched in American thought.
— Nancy Szokan

Product Details

Naxos Audiobooks
Publication date:
Edition description:
Abridged, 4 CDs
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 4.92(h) x 0.93(d)
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Read an Excerpt


By Henry David Thoreau

Running Press Book Publishers

Copyright © 1987 Henry David Thoreau
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0894714961



When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again.

I should not obtrude my affairs so much on the notice of my readers if very particular inquiries had not been made by my townsmen concerning my mode of life, which some would call impertinent, though they do not appear to me at all impertinent, but, considering the circumstances, very natural and pertinent. Some have asked what I got to eat; if I did not feel lonesome; if I was not afraid; and the like. Others have been curious to learn what portion of my income I devoted to charitable purposes; and some, who have large families, how many poor children I maintained. I will therefore ask those of my readers who feel no particular interest in me to pardon me if I undertake to answer some of these questions in this book. In most books, the I, or first person, is omitted; in this it will be retained; that, in respect to egotism, is the main difference. We commonly do not remember that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking. I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience. Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men's lives; some such account as he would send to his kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me. Perhaps these pages are more particularly addressed to poor students. As for the rest of my readers, they will accept such portions as apply to them. I trust that none will stretch the seams in putting on the coat, for it may do good service to him whom it fits.

I would fain say something, not so much concerning the Chinese and Sandwich Islanders as you who read these pages, who are said to live in New England; something about your condition, especially your outward condition or circumstances in this world, in this town, what it is, whether it is necessary that it be as bad as it is, whether it cannot be improved as well as not. I have travelled a good deal in Concord; and everywhere, in shops, and offices, and fields, the inhabitants have appeared to me to be doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways. What I have heard of Bramins sitting exposed to four fires and looking in the face of the sun; or hanging suspended, with their heads downward, over flames; or looking at the heavens over their shoulders "until it becomes impossible for them to resume their natural position, while from the twist of the neck nothing but liquids can pass into the stomach"; or dwelling, chained for life, at the foot of a tree; or measuring with their bodies, like caterpillars, the breadth of vast empires; or standing on one leg on the tops of pillars--even these forms of conscious penance are hardly more incredible and astonishing than the scenes which I daily witness. The twelve labors of Hercules were trifling in comparison with those which my neighbors have undertaken; for they were only twelve, and had an end; but I could never see that these men slew or captured any monster or finished any labor. They have no friend Iolaus to burn with a hot iron the root of the hydra's head, but as soon as one head is crushed, two spring up.

I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in. Who made them serfs of the soil? Why should they eat their sixty acres, when man is condemned to eat only his peck of dirt? Why should they begin digging their graves as soon as they are born? They have got to live a man's life, pushing all these things before them, and get on as well as they can. How many a poor immortal soul have I met well-nigh crushed and smothered under its load, creeping down the road of life, pushing before it a barn seventy-five feet by forty, its Augean stables never cleansed, and one hundred acres of land, tillage, mowing, pasture, and woodlot! The portionless, who struggle with no such unnecessary inherited encumbrances, find it labor enough to subdue and cultivate a few cubic feet of flesh.

But men labor under a mistake. The better part of the man is soon plowed into the soil for compost. By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool's life, as they will find when they get to the end of it, if not before.


Excerpted from Walden by Henry David Thoreau Copyright © 1987 by Henry David Thoreau. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Alan D. Hodder
"Thoreau's masterpiece—here freshly refurbished by Jeffrey S. Cramer—speaks to our material and spiritual condition as powerfully as on the day it first appeared.  Now, more than ever, Walden is our indispensable American book."--(;Alan D. Hodder, professor of comparative religion, Hampshire College     )
Joel Porte
"Jeffrey Cramer's Walden is the most accurate and readable text of Thoreau's masterpiece. Cramer's version now replaces all other available editions of Walden as the most attractive and reliable way to approach this great American book."-- (Joel Porte, author of Consciousness and Culture: Emerson and Thoreau Reviewed

Meet the Author

Jeffrey S. Cramer is curator of collections, The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods. He is the editor of Thoreau on Freedom: Attending to Man: Selected Writings of Henry David Thoreau.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Walden 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 118 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I read Thoreau¿s book Walden, I was amazed to learn that Thoreau¿s writing had such a great influence on such men as Mohandas Gandhi and Dr Martin Luther King. They Read Thoreau¿s book on Civil Disobedience, which advocated Passive resistance. (Peaceful protest). Another thing that surprised me was the way that Emerson and James Russell Lowell degraded Thoreau in their speeches at Henry¿s memorial service upon his death. During the memorial these two so-called friends of Thoreau called him a lazy braggart, a societies maverick & A drop out! Perhaps by societies standards he was a rebel but certainly not the worthless ne¿er do well that these men painted him. Thoreau sets out to build a cabin on Walden Pond in order to be at one with nature. Thoreau was at heart a naturalist. He resisted paying a tax which he spent one night in the Concord Jail. This was to prove a point. He lived at Walden Pond for 2 years. Upon returning to society, he continued to write his books. He said that, ¿most men lead lives of quiet desperation.¿ Henry David Thoreau was born July 12, 1817 And died May 6,1862 of T.B. He built his cabin on March 1845 at Walden Pond at a cost of $28,12 & half cents. Thoreau started out life in the Transcendentalist movement but He later departed from this group. He was a genius that was unappreciated in his day.
PinqueLady More than 1 year ago
This book is very poorly converted to e-book and contains too many errors to make it enjoyable to read; in some places it is impossible to read because you just can't tell what you are supposed to be reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. However, this version presents as a lackluster scan-job with no editing yielding a finished product contaminated by numerous unintelligible conversion errors from smeared paragraphs to numerous misconverted words. I should note that I have not read this version in full as I was too dissatisfied with the poor quality to proceed much beyond the first forty pages (which I had previously read and was mostly scanning for errors in an attempt to find a legible nook version of this great book).
Nancy Ducey More than 1 year ago
Walden is wonderful piece of literature. This copy contains a lot of unreadable text. Much of the text is ra dom characters and mumbo jumbo! Waste of money!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are several scan/ typing errors in this edition
Clueless_Chicks More than 1 year ago
The first few pages are okay, but later ones contain whole paragraphs that are indecipherable jumbles of symbols, punctuation marks, and random letters. Walden is a good book, too bad this one is unreadable.
Nneoma Nwachuku More than 1 year ago
Was not scanned well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thus free version is so loaded with jumbled text an errors, it is difficult to tead. Where is the quality control Barnes and Noble???
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
True fact, the bad copies are not BNs fault. If you want to BLAME someone, blame DISNEY. Because of their greed, nothing will be coming into the public domain for awhile. Because of their greed, everything is affected not just their stuff. They basically screwed up copyright law to benefit themselves and the government let them get away scot free. Now, digital book sellers are screwed because unless the stuff entered the PD before Disney stepped in and cried foul, there is nothing to be done. BNs hands are tied, they cannot offer clean digital copies or special editions of classics. The ONLY reason we have what have now is because of Google, Internet Archives, and universities. Computer technology does not recognize some words thus why websites use CAPCHA. It is both security and a way to improve scanning. Just be THANKFUL we have the books we do, I wish we had more. Too few classics, some titles not even available as OCRed yet which is SAD.
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy it
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