Henry David Thoreau: A Life. Laura Dassow Walls, Henry David Thoreau.
Henry David Thoreau: A Life
Henry David Thoreau: A Life
Henry David Thoreau: A Life
Henry David Thoreau: A Life

Henry David Thoreau: A Life

Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2017. First Edition. Hardcover. "In this definitive biography, the many facets of Thoreau are captured with grace and scholarly rigor...To reveal the author of Walden as one coherent person is Walls' mission, which she fully achieves; as a result of her vigilant focus Thoreau holds the center--no mean achievement in a work through whose pages move the great figures and cataclysmic events of the period. Emerson, Hawthorne, and Whitman are here; so are Frederick Douglass and John Brown. Details of everyday life lend roundness to this portrait as we follow Thoreau's progress as a writer and also as a reader...The wonder is that, given her book's richness, Walls still leaves the reader eager to read Thoreau. Her scholarly blockbuster is an awesome achievement, a merger of comprehensiveness in content with pleasure in reading." The blessing-endorsement quoted above comes from none other than Your Devoted Assistant Curator's favorite Transcendentalist biographer, Robert D. Richardson (1934-2020). The book begins by way of an explanatory, terms-setting Preface by the author, Laura Dassow Walls. Naturally following this is Walls’ alluring and declarative Introduction, which serves to outline her angles, aims & approach to chronicling the life of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), singular American Genius & celebrated author of “Walden” & “Civil Disobedience.” The prose of Henry David Thoreau—ornate, unapologetically declarative…denoted in part by an intellectual brawniness most assume came natively and naturally to the man who wrote "Walden"—masks the much more relatable context in which his own life unfolded. His is a story of human victory over deeply human struggles. The heroic, marbled prose which instructs the reader to "...go confidently in the direction of their dreams," to "...live the life they imagine..." was as much an instruction to himself as a call-to-action for his readers. Walls’ book unfolds over three "primary" sections. The first, titled "The Making of Thoreau," spans the relevant preceding years leading up to his birth and proceeds to chronicle his first twenty-eight years, stopping at "The Road to Walden" 163 pages later. The second section, titled "The Making of Walden," begins in 1845 and concludes circa-1854. From here, the third section (titled "Successions") picks up, carrying the arc of its subject's life from the post-Walden respect & immediate literary-cultural impact to his early death at 44 in 1862. A 'heart-forward' approach to biography that sacrifices nothing in the way of scholarly excellence. Hardcover in unclipped dust-jacket: First Edition, with no reference to previous editions at copyright page; First Printing, as indicated by number sequence thereon. A must-read for all Thoreauvians & a necessary addition to any Transcendentalist-inclusive collection or library. [ISBN: 978-0-226-34469-0]. Book in exceptionally very fine-condition, virtually as new--seemingly unexamined by its prior owner. Dust-jacket likewise in very fine condition, with only slightest shelf-wear to fine-edges & corners of front, back covers & spine; lone, modest diagonal crease-indentation present at bottom left-hand corner of back cover. Very Fine / Very Fine. [Item #4891]

Price: $30.00