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The Maine Woods

The Maine Woods: A Fully Annotated Edition

Edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 384
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  • Book Info
    The Maine Woods
    Book Description:

    "On the 31st of August, 1846, I left Concord in Massachusetts for Bangor and the backwoods of Maine"-thus beginsThe Maine Woods, the evocative story of Thoreau's journeys through a familiar yet untouched land.

    As he explores Mt. Katahdin (an Indian word meaning "highest land"), Lake Chesuncook, the Allagash River, and the East Branch of the Penobscot, Thoreau muses on his own vulnerability and the humility engendered by his solitude in the wilderness. Throughout Thoreau invokes the forest of Maine-the mountains, waterways, fauna, flora, and the people-in his singular style. EchoingWalden, Thoreau's passionate outcry against the degradation of the environment inThe Maine Woodswill resonate strongly today.

    This fully annotated gift edition ofThe Maine Woodsmakes a wonderful companion volume toWalden: A Fully Annotated EditionandI to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-15653-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Permissions
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. xv-xxii)

    The Maine woods were present in Thoreau’s consciousness for more than half his life. He is known to have made six excursions to Maine: in May 1838 to search for a teaching position; in 1846 to climb Mount Katahdin; in 1849 and 1851 to lecture on economy and Cape Cod, respectively; in 1853 to observe a moose hunt; and in 1857 to travel the Allegash and Penobscot Rivers. In his journal are numerous references to Maine, to Indians, and to the life it represented. Thoreau’s last recorded intelligible words were “moose” and “Indian.”

    Thoreau made his Ktaadn excursion during his...


    • Ktaadn
      (pp. 1-75)

      On the 31st of August, 1846, I left Concord in Massachusetts for Bangor and the backwoods of Maine, by way of the railroad and steamboat,¹ intending to accompany a relative² of mine engaged in the lumber trade in Bangor, as far as a dam on the west branch of the Penobscot, in which property he was interested. From this place, which is about one hundred miles by the river above Bangor, thirty miles from the Houlton military road,³ and five miles beyond the last log hut, I proposed to make excursions to mount Ktaadn, the second highest mountain in New...

    • Chesuncook
      (pp. 76-145)

      At 5 P.M., September 13th, 1853, I left Boston in the steamer for Bangor by the outside course.¹ It was a warm and still night,—warmer, probably, on the water than on the land,—and the sea was as smooth as a small lake in summer, merely rippled. The passengers went singing on the deck, as in a parlor, till ten o’clock. We passed a vessel on her beam-ends² on a rock just outside the islands, and some of us thought that she was the “rapt ship” which ran

      “on her side so low That she drank water, and her...

    • The Allegash and East Branch
      (pp. 146-277)

      I started on my third excursion to the Maine woods Monday, July 20th, 1857, with one companion,¹ arriving at Bangor the next day at noon.² We had hardly left the steamer, when we passed Molly Molasses³ in the street. As long as she lives the Penobscots may be considered extant as a tribe. The succeeding morning, a relative of mine,⁴ who is well acquainted with the Penobscot Indians, and who had been my companion in my two previous excursions into the Maine woods, took me in his wagon to Oldtown, to assist me in obtaining an Indian for this expedition....

    • Appendix
      (pp. 278-304)
  8. Supplement
    (pp. 305-306)
  9. Choice of Copy Text
    (pp. 307-308)
  10. Textual Notes and Emendations
    (pp. 309-342)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 343-350)
  12. Index
    (pp. 351-360)