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 The Portable Thoreau

The Portable Thoreau


Seeing New Worlds : Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Natural Science

Seeing New Worlds : Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Natural Science 
by Laura Dassow


 Thoreau on Water

Thoreau on Water 


Henry David Thoreau  1817 - 1862

bullet Texts:  Henry David Thoreau
bullet Journal of Henry David Thoreau
bullet Used Books:  Thoreau
bullet Correspondence
bullet Publications
bullet Know of a Resource?


Resources for the Study of Henry David Thoreau

Biographic and bibliographic information, compiled by Professor Stephen Adams at the University of Minnesota at Duluth.


Henry David Thoreau

Jone Johnson's  page has links to other resources.


Climatologist's TOOLBOX

A record of past environments--assembled from an analysis of frozen core samples (defined) of Walden's sediments--was taken by Marjorie Winkler, a paleoecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Climatic Research. Winkler studies lake and pond sediments, and from them she extracts detailed physical records of changes in environments and climates that extend back hundreds and sometimes thousands of years.


Thoreau and the Environment

Part of the EnviroLink Web site, this page links to a short biography of Thoreau and a selected list of his books and writings.


Thoreau FAQ

Frequently asked questions with an email address where you can send in your own questions.


 Thoughts on Walden and Thoreau

Essay by Peter Landry


Thoreau was stimulated by the natural things he found in life; he shunned the artificial. The manufactured collections that most of us work on through our lives are bogus -- and costly: we sweat, we labour, we toil, we worry: and we rarely ask ourselves to what purpose? Happily for Thoreau, and for all of us, a ticket to nature is free. For Thoreau the answer was to live happily and simply. For Thoreau, this could not only be done inexpensively, but only could be done, indeed, if one lived simply, with few possessions.

Table of Contents:

bullet Introduction
bullet Economy (Ch.1)
bullet Where I Lived, and What I Lived for (Ch.2)
bullet Reading (Ch.3)
bullet Sounds (Ch.4)
bullet Solitude (Ch.5)
bullet Visitors (Ch.6)
bullet The Bean-field (Ch.7)
bullet The Village (Ch.8)
bullet The Ponds (Ch.9)
bullet Baker Farm (Ch.10)
bullet Higher Laws (Ch.11)
bullet House-Warming (Ch.13)
bullet Wild Inhabitants (Ch.14)
bullet Winter Animals (Ch.15)
bullet Ponds in Winter (Ch.16)
bullet Spring (Ch.17)
bullet Conclusion (Ch.18)
bullet Footnotes


Thoreau's Pencils

Text from the radio program "Engines of Our Ingenuity," created by John H. Lienhard, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and History at the University of Houston. This program on Thoreau's pencil making provides a good introduction to this little-known side of Thoreau. Lienhard sites Henry Petroski's article, "H. D. Thoreau, Engineer," that appeared in the American Heritage of Invention & Technology, Vol. 5, Number 2, pp. 8-16. If you can't find the article, Petroski's book, The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, is widely available. For a light-hearted and pun-filled article about Thoreau and pencil making in Massachusetts see Deborah Bier's "Concord's Sharp Pencil-Makers Write Themselves into History" at the online The Concord Magazine.
More Thoughts on Beans

When he mentioned that he was resolved to know beans,
Henry knew it would get a good laugh,
for one thing New Englanders do with their speech
is to sort out the wheat from the chaff.
And so, as he tended bean plants by the pond,
and studied their habits and style,
it never occurred to his dexterous mind
that folks might not notice his smile.
If, when reading Thoreau, you encounter a phrase
that tempts you to find hairs to split,
just remember what Henry himself knew so well:
great philosophy favors great wit.

Amy Belding Brown


Further Reading

Credits: Elizabeth Witherell and Louisa Dennis, University of California, Santa Barbara Library; Richard Lenat, Thoreau Reader Website.


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