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Walden's Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science (Hardback)
  • Walden's Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science (Hardback)
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Walden's Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science (Hardback)

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£23.95
Hardback 410 Pages / Published: 07/01/2014
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Explores Thoreau's understanding of the "living rock" on which life's complexity depends - not as metaphor but as physical science. The author's subject is Thoreau the rock and mineral collector, interpreter of landscapes, and field scientist whose compass and measuring stick were as important to him as his plant press.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674724785
Number of pages: 410
Weight: 826 g
Dimensions: 245 x 161 x 33 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Walden s Shore is a serious, substantial, and impressively erudite entry into the field a model for how interdisciplinary approaches can bring original and revelatory perspectives to bear on even the most well-worn texts Thorson s careful reconstruction of Thoreau s likely knowledge of landscape formation and glacial theory is especially impressive, and constitutes a comprehensive account of Thoreau s relation to what was apparently a major scientific controversy of the mid-19th century.--James Williams"PopMatters" (04/22/2014)"
Fascinating Thorson presents the strongest version yet of the argument that, by the time he reached his early thirties, Thoreau was a scientist. Thorson provides a vivid core sample of Thoreau s middle career, a dense, compelling vision of the geodynamics of Walden Pond, and an unexpectedly personal picture of Thoreau s relation to nineteenth-century science The great strength of Walden s Shore, then, lies in its absorbing analytical presentation, through geo-scientific eyes, of topographies familiar to Thoreauvians of Walden Pond, the Journal, and Walden itself all lucidly explained for a nontechnical audience. Those of us who have become devoted to the place, the book, and its author owe Robert Thorson a debt of gratitude along with a heap of royalties.--William Rossi"Thoreau Society Bulletin" (01/01/2015)"
Thorson says that literary types haven t had the scientific chops to recognize, among other things, Thoreau s genius for river channel hydraulics and how close he came to discovering glacial theory (then unformed, now proved) to explain his terrain of erratic boulders and kettle ponds. Thorson says that Thoreau changed from science light to science heavy around 1851, and his writing shed much of the ecstatic divine metaphors for a style closer to field notes.--Katherine Whittemore"Boston Globe" (05/25/2014)"
Most people know Thoreau as an environmental essayist, a 19th-century naturalist, and a commentator and an essayist on social and political matters. Through a detailed reading of Thoreau s Journal and Walden, Thorson shows that Thoreau was a competent scientist with expertise in limnology, geology, hydrology, and ecology. He also had a fundamental understanding of the effects of glaciers on landscapes.--L. T. Spencer"Choice" (07/01/2014)"
Walden's Shore has no predecessor in the field of Thoreau studies. It is a welcome addition and a needed reassessment of an iconic figure.--Jeffrey S. Cramer, editor of The Portable Thoreau
The work of an extraordinary mind. Thorson seeks to ground what is arguably the greatest piece of non-fiction produced in America, and one of the world's classics, not in the field of language where it has long been situated but rather in the material universe with which Thoreau extensively interacted and on which he long meditated. He stunningly succeeds in this effort.--Wayne Franklin, University of Connecticut
What emerges from Walden s Shore is a portrait of Thoreau in transition, pulled in one direction by the force of his poetic genius and keen eye for humanity s foibles, on the one hand, and, on the other, a thinker whose insights make him more of a curiosity-driven scientist Whereas many of us are used to literary critics sticking their toes into scientific waters--sometimes to their discomfiture--it is rare to find a scientist who knows and appreciates a literary masterpiece the way Thorson does and can write about it with aplomb. Thorson s affection for the book and its author is clear.--William Major"Environmental History" (07/01/2015)"
Utterly fascinating In studying Thoreau s own debts to the science-writers of his time, Thorson opens up Walden from its sometimes insular grandeur and grounds (so to speak) its mythopoetics in the physical properties of the place Thoreau made famous.--Steve Donoghue"Open Letters Monthly" (09/04/2015)"

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