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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Letters and Journals of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Chapter 2: the Worcester period (search)
tude to me, for the little I have done for her. Mrs. Spofford kindly brought the editor some letters which Mr. Higginson had written to her at various times after leaving Newburyport. Here are a few hints to his young friend about the books she should read: We see how few people live in Nature by the rarity of any real glimpse of it in their books; almost all is' second-hand and vague. ... The only thoroughly outdoor book I have ever seen is Thoreau's Week on the Concord and Merrimack rivers, which is fascinating beyond compare to any one who knows Nature, though the religion and philosophy are of the wildest. He has led a strange Indian life, the author, and his errors and extremes are on the opposite from most people's. . . Thoreau has sent me his book [ Walden ], which I have enjoyed as much, I think, as the other; it is calmer and more whole, crammed with fine observation and thought, and rising into sublimity at the last. . . . The two authors, whom I am chiefly
Francis Jackson Garrison, William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-1879; the story of his life told by his children: volume 1, Chapter 2: Boyhood.—1805-1818. (search)
er this beautiful spot with a cheerfulness and brilliancy to which I know no rival. During the ten years following the period to which this description refers, the town was at the height of its prosperity. Commercially it was of much importance, excelled only by Boston and Salem, and owned a multittude of vessels engaged in the foreign and coastwise trade, and in the fisheries. Not only were its wharves constantly crowded with ships and loaded with merchandise, but the bank of the Merrimac River, even as far as Deer Island, two miles above the town, was occupied by busy ship-yards; and ship-building was one of the most important industries of the place. The prosperous merchants and ship-owners built fine mansions for themselves on State Street, and along the beautiful High Street, from which the town slopes gently down to the water; while their townsmen of more moderate pretensions occupied comfortable homes on the lower thoroughfares between High Street and the river. The c
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, VII: the free church (search)
raved books and more books, but the actual purchase of one was a luxury. With a little money sent him by his Aunt Nancy, he bought Mrs. Jameson's Commonplace Book of Thoughts, Memories, and Fancies, and told his aunt, I shall write very carefully in the beginning that it was a present, so that my parishioners and friends may not think it my own extravagance, in these hard times. Certain favorite books, such as Jane Austen's novels, Scott's Pirate, and Thoreau's Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Mr. Higginson usually read once a year. Four years of his ministry at the Free Church had gone by when the president of the organization wrote to the clergyman's mother, that, after listening to his preaching, common sermons appear weak and stale, and our people will not go to hear them. He added that something in her son's appearance and manner called out the masses. As a matter of course the newcomer interested himself in the schools, and was placed on the school committee. R
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Walcott Boynton, Reader's History of American Literature, Chapter 7: the Concord group (search)
arently unsuccessful. There is no fame really more permanent than that which begins its actual growth after the death of an author; and such is the fame of Thoreau. Before his death he had published but two books, A week on the Concord and Merrimack rivers and Walden. Nine more have since been printed, besides two volumes of selected extracts and two biographies, making fifteen in all. Such things are not accidental or the result of whim, and they indicate that the literary fame of Thoreau is is career was nothing less than heroic. There is nothing finer in literary history than his description, in his unpublished diary, of receiving from his publisher the unsold copies — nearly the whole edition — of his Week on the Concord and Merrimack rivers, and of his carrying the melancholy burden upstairs on his shoulders to his study. I have now a library, he says, of nearly nine hundred volumes, over seven hundred of which I wrote myself. In the late volume giving memorials of one of t
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Walcott Boynton, Reader's History of American Literature, A Glossary of Important Contributors to American Literature (search)
for children (1884); The Cruise of the Mystery, and other poems (1886). Died on Appledore Island, Aug. 26, 1894. Thoreau, Henry David Born in Concord, Mass., July 12, 1817. Graduating from Harvard in 1837, he devoted himself to literature, supplying his simple needs by surveying, carpentering, and engineering. He cared for simplicity of life and not at all for society. He and his brother spent a week in a home-made boat, a journey that found record in A week on the Concord and Merrimack rivers (1849). He lived for some time in a hut which he had built himself on the edge of Walden pond, and made the experience famous in Walden, or life in the woods (1854). He wrote for The Dial, Democratic Review, Graham's, Putnam's and the Union magazines, the Atlantic monthly, and the N. Y. Tribune. Some of his published works are Excursions in field and Forest (1863); The Mlaine woods (1864); Cape Cod (1865); Letters to various persons (1865); and A Yankee in Canada (1866). Died in Concor
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Walcott Boynton, Reader's History of American Literature, Index. (search)
on of Sir Launfal, Lowell's, 164. Voices of the night, Longfellow's, 142. Walden, Thoreau's, 191. Wallace, Horace Binney, 72. Wallace, Lew, 129. Walpole, Horace, 45, 49. Ward, Artemus, 243. Warner, Charles Dudley, 88, 124. Warville, Brissot de, 52. Washington, 51, 63, 94, 117, 221. Wasson, David A., 264. Waverley novels, Scott's, 93, 274. Webster, Daniel, 43, 110, 111, 112-114. Webster, Hannah, 92. Webster, John, 258. Webster, Noah, 82. Week on the Concord and Merrimack rivers, Thoreau's, 191, 195. Welby, Mrs. Amelia B., 210. Wellington, Duke of, 123. Wendell, Barrett, 18, 109, 161. Wheeler, Charles Stearns, 261. When Lilacs last in the Dooryard Bloomed, Whitman's, 232. Whipple, Edwin Percy, 124, 125. White, Blanco, 263. White, Maria, 161. Whitman, Walt, 220, 221, 223, 227-234, 264. Whittier, Elizabeth, 240. Whittier, John Greenleaf, 128, 136, 137, 145-153, 197, 264. Whittier, Thomas, 147. Wieland, Brown's, 70. Wigglesworth, Michael, 1
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 2 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.), Chapter 10: Thoreau (search)
ty-nine dollars; and by cultivating beans and other vegetables he was able to support himself at an annual expense of a little more than eight dollars. This was removing the encumbrances from the equation, with a vengeance, but Thoreau could make a dinner of berries. The experiment lasted from March, 1845, until September, 1847, and then having satisfied himself that the thing could be done, he gave it up. Two years later, Thoreau published his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. The actual voyage was performed by the two brothers Henry and John in the late summer of 1839 in a boat of their own making, painted green below with a border of blue, with reference to the two elements in which it was to spend its existence. During his Walden retirement, Thoreau worked over the original record of his pleasant outing, expanding it greatly by the inclusion of very various material, and had it published at his own risk by Monroe in 1849. It was the year of the Argonaut
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 2 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.), Chapter 13: Whittier (search)
Chapter 13: Whittier It was in 1638, when the great Puritan emigration to Massachusetts was beginning to slacken, that Thomas Whittier, a youth of eighteen, possibly of Huguenot extraction, landed in New England and made a home for himself on the shores of the Merrimac River. The substantial oak farmhouse which, late in life, he erected for his large family near Haverhill, is still standing. Descended from him in the fourth generation, John Greenleaf Whittier, the poet, was born in this house, 17 December, 1807. This is the homestead described with minute and loving fidelity in Snow-Bound, and it is typical of the many thousands of its sort that dotted the New England country-side, rearing in the old Puritan tradition a sturdy pioneer stock that was to blossom later in the fine flower of political and ethical passion, of statesmanship and oratory and letters. Though Whittier's family tree was originally Puritan, a Quaker scion was grafted upon it in the second American genera
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 2 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.), Index (search)
300 Warren, James, 105 Warren, Mercy, Otis, 104, 105 Washington, Booker T., 323-325, 326, 351 Washington, George, 116, 117, 118, 181, 182, 260 Wasp, the, 387 Watts, Isaac, 401 Way down upon the Suwanee River, 353 Way to Arcady, the, 243 Wayland, Francis, 219 Webb, Charles Henry, 242 Webb, James Watson, 183 Weber, 353 Webster, Daniel, 50, 51, 71, 85, 86, 87, 88, 92-103, 135, 164, 207 Webster, Noah, 180, 396 Weekly register, 188 Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, a, 3, 4, 5, 9, 12 Weems, Parson, 104, 105 Wells, H. G., 394 Wendell, Evert Jansen, 225 Wentworth, Gov., Benning, 114 Western monthly magazine, the, 169 Western monthly review, the, 169 Western review and miscellaneous magazine, the, 169 Westminster review, the, 137, 140 West Point, 156 What was it?, 373, 374 Wheaton, Henry, 71, 78 Wheeler, Joseph, 291 When evening Cometh on, 331 When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloomed, 286 When this Cruel War is
Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 6: the Transcendentalists (search)
rty-fifth year, would have smiled cannily at the notion that after fifty years their townsman's literary works would be published in a sumptuous twenty-volume edition, and that critics in his own country and in Europe would rank him with Ralph Waldo Emerson. Yet that is precisely what has happened. Our literature has no more curious story than the evolution of this local crank into his rightful place of mastership. In his lifetime he printed only two books, A week on the Concord and Merrimac rivers-which was even more completely neglected by the public than Emerson's Nature--and Walden, now one of the classics, but only beginning to be talked about when its shy, proud author penned his last line and died with the words moose and Indian on his lips. Thoreau, like all thinkers who reach below the surface of human life, means many different things to men of various temperaments. Collectors of human novelties, like Stevenson, rejoice in his uniqueness of flavor; critics, like Lowe
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