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Henry David Thoreau in Context

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Part of Literature in Context

James S. Finley, Jeffrey S. Cramer, Leslie Perrin Wilson, Kent C. Ryden, Wesley T. Mott, Stan Tag, Corinne H. Smith, Albena Bakratcheva, Kathleen Coyne Kelly, Alan D. Hodder, Samantha C. Harvey, David Faflik, Jonathan Senchyne, William Stowe, François Specq, Ronald Wesley Hoag, Andrew Kopec, Laura Dassow Walls, Daniel S. Malachuk, Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, John J. Kucich, Larry J. Reynolds, Kathryn Dolan, Hadley Leach, Cristin Ellis, Robert M. Thorson, Kristen Case, Michelle C. Neely, William Rossi, Ronald A. Bosco, Richard J. Schneider, David M. Robinson, Alexandra Manglis, April Anson, Michael Ziser, Carl H. Sederholm
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  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107149229

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About the Authors
  • Well known for his contrarianism and solitude, Henry David Thoreau was nonetheless deeply responsive to the world around him. His writings bear the traces of his wide-ranging reading, travels, political interests, and social influences. Henry David Thoreau in Context brings together leading scholars of Thoreau and nineteenth-century American literature and culture and presents original research, valuable synthesis of historical and scholarly sources, and innovative readings of Thoreau's texts. Across thirty-four chapters, this collection reveals a Thoreau deeply concerned with and shaped by a diverse range of environments, intellectual traditions, social issues, and modes of scientific practice. Essays also illuminate important posthumous contexts and consider the specific challenges of contextualizing Thoreau today. This collection provides a rich understanding of Thoreau and nineteenth-century American literature, political activism, and environmentalist thinking that will be a vital resource for students, teachers, scholars, and general readers.

    • Provides extensive background materials including intellectual, political, and literary contexts, as well as summative treatments of scholarship, making it appealing to Thoreau scholars looking to get up to speed quickly, teachers who wish to provide students with contextual materials to better understand Thoreau's writings, and Thoreau enthusiasts interested in learning more about his world
    • Details the various ways that Thoreau was connected to and responded to his world, helping to undermine the erroneous and damaging stereotype that Thoreau was a hermit who cared little about the world around
    • Presents material in a straightforward, lucid, and jargon-free manner, which will appeal to teachers and readers in particular who are unfamiliar with literary theory or the technical particulars of literary scholarship
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The essays are consistently sharp, smart, evenhanded, jargon free, and accessible, their brevity (all are 10–11 pages length) lending each the quality of a tantalizing entrée into an aspect of Thoreau's writing and culture. … The collection demonstrates (in brief) the scores of fascinating ways that contemporary criticism sees and reads Thoreau. … Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers.' G. D. MacDonald, CHOICE

    'The genre more or less demands that the contributor's aim be to connect Thoreau with some extracted slice of the ambient culture, leading to a stackable set of conjoined or binary analyses: Thoreau and Religion, Thoreau and Technology, Thoreau and Native America, and so forth, an arrangement more exactly developed in the Finley collection.' Albert J. Von Frank, Modern Intellectual History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107149229
    • length: 418 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.72kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of contributors
    Preface James S. Finley
    Acknowledgements
    Chronology Jeffrey S. Cramer
    List of abbreviations and textual note
    Part I. Geographic Contexts:
    1. Concord Leslie Perrin Wilson
    2. Walden Pond and Walden Woods Kent C. Ryden
    3. Boston and Worcester Wesley T. Mott
    4. Maine Stan Tag
    5. The journey west: Minnesota Corinne H. Smith
    Part II. Intellectual and Literary Contexts:
    6. Classics Albena Bakratcheva
    7. Medievalism Kathleen Coyne Kelly
    8. The religious horizon Alan D. Hodder
    9. Romanticism Samantha C. Harvey
    10. Transcendentalism David Faflik
    11. Print culture Jonathan Senchyne
    12. The literature of travel William Stowe
    13. Translation François Specq
    14. Odd man in: Thoreau, the Lyceum movement, and the lecture circuit Ronald Wesley Hoag
    Part III. Cultural and Political Contexts:
    15. Capitalism Andrew Kopec
    16. Technology Laura Dassow Walls
    17. Politics Daniel S. Malachuk
    18. Slavery and abolition Sandra Harbert Petrulionis
    19. Native America John J. Kucich
    20. Warrior culture Larry J. Reynolds
    21. Diet and vegetarianism Kathryn Dolan
    Part IV. Scientific and Environmental Contexts:
    22. Natural history Hadley Leach
    23. Racial science Cristin Ellis
    24. Physical science Robert M. Thorson
    25. Phenology Kristen Case
    26. Animals Michelle C. Neely
    27. Evolution William Rossi
    Part V. Several More Lives to Lead: Thoreau's Legacies:
    28. The challenge of Thoreau's biography Ronald A. Bosco
    29. The evolution of Thoreau's reputation Richard J. Schneider
    30. Thoreau, Stanley Cavell, and American philosophy David M. Robinson
    31. Contemporary poetics Alexandra Manglis
    32. The patron saint of tiny houses April Anson
    33. The modern environmental movement Michael Ziser
    34. Popular culture Carl H. Sederholm
    Further reading
    Index.

  • Editor

    James S. Finley, Texas A & M University
    James S. Finley is Assistant Professor of English at Texas A & M University. A former editor of The Thoreau Society Bulletin, he has published multiple essays on Henry David Thoreau on topics including environmentalism, abolitionism, and The Maine Woods. In 2014, he participated in the 150th Thoreau-Wabanaki Tour, a retracing of Thoreau's 1857 journey through northern Maine. In 2017, he served on the faculty of a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History seminar: 'Living and Writing Deliberately: The Concord Landscapes and Legacy of Henry David Thoreau'. He has received fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society and The Thoreau Society.

    Contributors

    James S. Finley, Jeffrey S. Cramer, Leslie Perrin Wilson, Kent C. Ryden, Wesley T. Mott, Stan Tag, Corinne H. Smith, Albena Bakratcheva, Kathleen Coyne Kelly, Alan D. Hodder, Samantha C. Harvey, David Faflik, Jonathan Senchyne, William Stowe, François Specq, Ronald Wesley Hoag, Andrew Kopec, Laura Dassow Walls, Daniel S. Malachuk, Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, John J. Kucich, Larry J. Reynolds, Kathryn Dolan, Hadley Leach, Cristin Ellis, Robert M. Thorson, Kristen Case, Michelle C. Neely, William Rossi, Ronald A. Bosco, Richard J. Schneider, David M. Robinson, Alexandra Manglis, April Anson, Michael Ziser, Carl H. Sederholm

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