Since Thoreau’s death in 1862, at age forty-five, his writing unpublished in his lifetime has found its way into print with a steady, if widely spaced, regularity. Excursions came out in 1863; The Maine Woods in 1864; Cape Cod in 1865; and A Yankee in Canada in 1866. These were all collections of magazine pieces, and were books only in the sense that they were related texts brought together under a publisher’s title. Poems of Nature appeared in 1895. A Collected Poems, edited by Carl Bode, came out in 1941, followed by a second, enlarged edition in 1965. 1906 saw the publication, in fourteen handsome volumes, of his Journal, to which Perry Miller added a fifteenth volume in 1958. Alexander C. Kern published two more journal entries, newly discovered, in 1968.

There are thousands of unpublished pages of Thoreau in libraries around the country. This new “book” by...


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