The Natural History Essays
Henry David Thoreau is America's preeminent literary naturalist; his work has become a mark against which later writers are invariably judged. Still, ... Show synopsis Henry David Thoreau is America's preeminent literary naturalist; his work has become a mark against which later writers are invariably judged. Still, this popularity is largely based on the widespread familiarity of certain passages from "Walden." Most of his separate essays are comparatively little known. Here collected are all of Thoreau's known natural history essays, including "Huckleberries" and "Walking." This series celebrates the tradition of literary naturalists-- writers who embrace the natural world as the setting for some of our most euphoric and serious experiences. Their literary terrain maps the intimate connections between the human and natural worlds, a subject defined by Mary Austin in 1920 as "a third thing... the sum of what passed between me and the Land." Literary naturalists transcend political boundaries, social concerns, and historical milieus; they speak for what Henry Beston called the "other nations" of the planet. Their message acquires more weight and urgency as wild places became increasingly scarce. This series, then, celebrates both a wonderful body of work and a fundamental truth: that nature counts as a model, a guide to how we can live in the world.