Henry David Thoreau, 1854
THOREAU, Henry D (1817-1862). Walden; or, Life in the Woods. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854.

An uncommonly bright copy of the first edition of this American masterpiece. Robert Frost remarked that in this one book Thoreau "surpasses everything we have had in America" (letter to Wade Van Dore, 24 June 1922). "Solid chunks of thought, in the midst of a solid chunk of nature, proving that the minimum of cash expenditure and of creature comfort may result in the maximum of acute observation and cerebration—for almost a hundred years an inspiration to nature-lovers, to philosophers, to those of a Calvin Coolidge turn, and to persons who love to read the English language written with clarity" (Grolier American). This copy bears an early ownership inscription from J. Walter Spooner, probably James Walter Spooner (1831-1888) of Plymouth, Massachusetts, a frequent visitor to Concord and admiring friend of Thoreau's. One of 2000 copies printed. BAL 20106, Grolier American 63.

Octavo. Map with imprint reading faintly, ads at rear dated April 1854 (small chip to front endpaper at joint). Original brown cloth gilt (slightest rubbing at foot of spine, minor bump to lower corner). Custom clamshell box. Provenance: J. Walter Spooner (ownership inscription).

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