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img038img039img040This rare brochure reproduced in its entirety here, came with the book edition of Walden and was published by Walter J. Black Publishers, edited by Gordon S. Haight, PH.D. in 1942.

In the biographical sketch in the book by the eminent Thoreau scholar Ralph Waldo Emerson we find an extraordinary description of this 19th Century self reliant American lover of rugged individuality and freedom (underlining in red is mine).

These qualities, perhaps not all mind you, were regarded in high esteem by the average American which in part accounts for the tremendous popularity the book achieved over a century and a half, since its original publishing date of 1854 in Boston, Massachusetts.

waldenThe story, part spiritual quest, part memoir and with much social criticism is not totally unique in American literature. Other earlier examples, with much less of a spiritual quest throughout, are to be found below.

img074The front cover of this edition is by Milton Glaser. The book Letters of an American Farmer by J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur has the subtitle, an 18th Century Thoreau writes of the New World. Do we need more of an attest to Thoreau’s literary importance?

img075It appears, without going back to the simpler lifestyle, we would all benefit from the contemplative nature of Thoreau be it in politics or daily life. Every back to nature, “green advocate” would do well to dwell!