Maine Woods

Henry David THOREAU

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Item#: 126958 price:$3,300.00

Maine Woods
Maine Woods

“THERE CERTAINLY MEN WOULD LIVE FOREVER, AND LAUGH AT DEATH AND THE GRAVE”: FIRST EDITION OF THE MAINE WOODS BY THOREAU, 1864

THOREAU, Henry David. The Maine Woods. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1864. Small octavo, original green cloth. $3300.

First edition of Thoreau’s acclaimed account of his ascent of Mount Katahdin and related writings, in original cloth.

At the end of August 1846, "Thoreau left Walden for a two-week excursion to the Maine woods… The ascent of [Mount] Katahdin was the central experience both of the trip and of Thoreau's subsequent account of it. It was an experience of nature as vast, drear and indifferent to humankind" (ANB). Thoreau published his essay about his excursion, "Ktaadn," in the Union Magazine in 1848. "Emerson reading over the essay decided it was the first piece of American literature he had seen in ten years that was worth binding" (Harding). It would not, however, appear in book form until 1864 after Thoreau's death, as part of the present volume, accompanied by other accounts of two earlier visits to Maine, together "with several appendixes listing the trees, flowers, shrubs, plants, birds and quadrupeds he had found there, a description of an outfit for such an excursion, and a list of Indian words… The book as a whole gives an effective bosky and moosey picture of the deepest wilderness Thoreau was ever to explore… The Maine Woods smells of hemlock and balsam" (Harding, 395). First printing, with priced list of Thoreau's books (page [ii]). Bound without publisher's advertisements, as often. One of 1450 copies printed. Borst A4.1.a. BAL 20113. Allen, 17. Faint owner signature dated year of publication on front free endpaper.

Interior fine, original cloth with very shallow chipping to spine head. Near-fine condition.

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