In July 1845, Henry David Thoreau built a small cottage in the woods near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. During the two years and two months he spent there, he began to write "Walden," a chronicle of his communion with nature that became one of the most influential and compelling books in American literature. Since its first publication on August 9, 1854, by Ticknor and Fields, the work has become a classic, beloved for its message of living simply and in harmony with nature.
This edition of "Walden" features exquisite wood engravings by Michael McCurdy, one of America's leading engravers and woodblock artists. McCurdy's engravings bring the text to life--and illuminate the spirit of Thoreau's prose. Also included is a foreword by noted author, environmentalist, and naturalist Terry Tempest Williams who reflects upon Thoreau's message that as we explore our world and ourselves, we draw ever closer to the truth of our connectedness.
About the Author
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, and philosopher, who is best known for his works Waldena treatise about living in concert with the natural worldand Civil Disobedience, in which he espoused the need to morally resist the actions of an unjust state. Thoreau s work heavily reflects the ideologies of the American transcendentalists, and he has long been considered a leading figure in the movement along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, and, at first, Nathaniel Hawthorne (who changed his views later in life). In addition to his writing, which totaled more than twenty volumes, Thoreau was an active abolitionist, and lectured regularly against the Fugitive Slave Law. Thoreau died in 1862, and is buried along with Louisa May Alcott, Ellery Channing, and other notable Americans in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.
Michael McCurdy is one of America's finest wood engravers. He has illustrated nearly 200 books for trade publications and special fine-press editions. His prints and drawings are also shown in galleries throughout the country. McCurdy lives in Springfield, Mass.
Terry Tempest Williams is the award-winning author of books including "Leap", "An Unspoken Hunger", "Refuge", and "Finding Beauty in a Broken World". She divides her time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Moose, Wyoming.
"Michael McCurdy's woodcuts are to Henry David Thoreau's Walden as Rockwell Kent's images are to Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. We experience a perfect conversation between the writer and the artist. There is a quiet restraint within each woodcut. Nothing extra. In the spare, raw beauty of McCurdy's images, he takes Thoreau's philosophy, 'simplify, simplify,' and lays it bare. If one can hold the grace of a good life in hand, McCurdy's work makes that experience possible. Each print becomes a window where we can view those moments in a private life, a transcendence through beauty." —Terry Tempest Williams