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Wild Fruits: Thoreau's Rediscovered Last…
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Wild Fruits: Thoreau's Rediscovered Last Manuscript (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Henry David Thoreau (Author), Bradley P. Dean (Editor), Abigail Rorer (Illustrator)

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255282,349 (4.42)1
The final harvest of our great nature writer's last years, Wild Fruits presents Thoreau's distinctly American gospel--a sacramental vision of nature in which "the tension between Thoreau the naturalist and Thoreau the missionary for nature's wonders invigorates nearly every page" (Time). In transcribing the 150-year-old manuscript's cryptic handwriting and complex notations, Thoreau specialist Bradley Dean has performed a "heroic feat of decipherment" (Booklist) to bring this great work to light. Readers will discover "passages that reach for the transcendentalist ideal of writing new scriptures, yet grounding this Bible in a vision of practical ecology" (Boston). Beautifully illustrated throughout with line drawings of the natural life Thoreau considers on his walks, Wild Fruits is "well worth any nature lover's attention" (Christian Science Monitor).… (more)
Member:Nrsima
Title:Wild Fruits: Thoreau's Rediscovered Last Manuscript
Authors:Henry David Thoreau (Author)
Other authors:Bradley P. Dean (Editor), Abigail Rorer (Illustrator)
Info:W W Norton & Co Inc (1999), Edition: 1st, 409 pages
Collections:Your library
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Wild Fruits: Thoreau's Rediscovered Last Manuscript by Henry David Thoreau (1999)

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Wild Fruits Thoreau's Rediscovered Last Manuscript
1850's This lost manuscript is mostly about Thoreau and his time studying the plants he lives near.
Everything from when they first come out in the spring, the crop they produce and the taste and the history of the plant itself and how it was used in the past.
Wish I had the actual book as it might come with pictures of the actual plants that I could then identify here locally but this is a book on tape. ( )
  jbarr5 | Nov 1, 2013 |
Amazon.com
Henry David Thoreau was 44 years old when he died of tuberculosis in the early spring of 1862. He had acquired a measure of notoriety in his lifetime largely for his fervent support of abolitionism and his refusal to pay taxes to support the American war of conquest against Mexico, the subject of his widely circulated pamphlet Civil Disobedience. Closer to his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts, he was known as something of an eccentric who kept a home in the woods and took long walks when the citizens of the town were at work or church.
We scarcely know Thoreau better, writes archivist and scholar Bradley Dean: we still remember him today for having spent time in jail and spinning philosophy out of the New England woods. On the strength of this lost, and now published, final manuscript of Thoreau's, Dean would have us think of him as a protoecologist, and for very good reason. In the last years of his life, Thoreau resolved to learn better the science behind nature, and in Wild Fruits he collected the lore and facts surrounding the plants around his home, observing such things as the quantity of chestnuts that local trees were producing, the myriad shapes of pine cones as they unfold, the taste of "fever bush," and the smell of sweet gale.

The unfinished manuscript, cataloging dozens of species, affords a fascinating glimpse into Thoreau's method as an amateur student of nature--a method worthy of close study and imitation. Dean adds greatly to it with his intelligent commentary, which revisits Thoreau's sources, corrects a few of his errors, and emphasizes the writer's importance to natural history and belles-lettres alike. --Gregory McNamee

From Publishers Weekly
Thoreau's Walden (1854) is regarded both as a masterpiece of American prose and as a forerunner of modern environmentalism. Its author spent much of the 1850s learning what botany could teach him about the New England woods he chronicled. Thoreau brought that knowledge to bear on this sometimes very beautiful essay about plants, fruits and nuts, left incomplete at his death in 1862 and here printed for the first time. Thoreau's brief preface echoes the passions of Walden: "What are all the oranges imported into England to the hips and haws in her hedges?" The rest of the work is arranged fruit by fruit: we begin with elm-fruit ("most mistake the fruit before it falls for leaves, and we owe to it the first deepening of the shadows in our streets"), and proceed through several dozen entries to sassafras, skunk cabbage, strawberries, cranberries, juniper berries and, finally, "winter fruits." Though many plants' entries comprise just a few sentences, some offer plenty of room to meditate. Huckleberries prompt a 20-page essay, and pitch pine leads Thoreau to explain how "the restless pine seeds go dashing over [snow] like an Esquimaux sledge with an invisible team until, losing their wings or meeting with some insuperable obstacle, they lie down once for all, perchance to rise up pines." Though the book as a whole reads like the rough draft it is, plenty of individual essays and sentences retain Thoreau's famous confidence and attention. Editor and Thoreau scholar Dean (Faith in a Seed) appends copious notes, along with passages from Thoreau's still unpublished, unfinished The Dispersion of Seeds. Illustrations by Abigail Rorer. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
  apbthoreau | Feb 26, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henry David Thoreauprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dean, Bradley P.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rorer, AbigailIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I think that each town should have a park, or rather a primitive forest, of five hundred or a thousand acres, either in one body or several, where a stick should never be cut for fuel, nor for the navy, nor to make wagons, but stand and decay for higher uses---a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation. All Walden Wood might have been reserved, with Walden in the midst of it. . . .

---Thoreau, Wild Fruits
Dedication
The editor dedicates his labor
on this project to the poet Debra Kang Dean
for her love and support, and to the humanitarians Don Henley
and Kathi Anderson of the Walden Woods Project
for their efforts to save Thoreau's beloved
woods and their help in revitalizing
Thoreau studies by establishing
the Thoreau Institute in
the midst of Walden
Woods.
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Most of us are still related to our native fields as the navigator to undiscovered islands in the sea.
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The final harvest of our great nature writer's last years, Wild Fruits presents Thoreau's distinctly American gospel--a sacramental vision of nature in which "the tension between Thoreau the naturalist and Thoreau the missionary for nature's wonders invigorates nearly every page" (Time). In transcribing the 150-year-old manuscript's cryptic handwriting and complex notations, Thoreau specialist Bradley Dean has performed a "heroic feat of decipherment" (Booklist) to bring this great work to light. Readers will discover "passages that reach for the transcendentalist ideal of writing new scriptures, yet grounding this Bible in a vision of practical ecology" (Boston). Beautifully illustrated throughout with line drawings of the natural life Thoreau considers on his walks, Wild Fruits is "well worth any nature lover's attention" (Christian Science Monitor).

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