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The Illustrated A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

The Illustrated A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

Carl F. Hovde
William L. Howarth
Elizabeth Hall Witherell
Copyright Date: 1983
Pages: 500
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  • Book Info
    The Illustrated A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
    Book Description:

    This book offers a selection of superb photographs by the famous turn-of-the-century photographer Herbert Gleason. Retracing one of Thoreau's early journeys, Gleason produced moving and dramatic pictures of life along the rivers of New England.

    Originally published in 1986.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5719-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. On Thoreau’s Book and Gleason’s Photographs
    (pp. ix-xv)
    Elizabeth Hall Witherell

    This illustrated edition ofA Week on the Concord and Merrimack Riversadds the revelations of the photograph’s “more than surface significance” to the results of Thoreau’s first extended effort to “give the within outwardness.” The photographs were taken between 1899 and 1937 by Herbert Wendell Gleason, who made most of them to illustrate his own selection of passages fromA Week. Works of art in themselves, they give the reader the opportunity to share something of Thoreau’s visual perspective along with his intellectual stance; being by their nature descriptive rather than analytic, they reinforce Thoreau’s method of description and...

  4. Historical Introduction
    (pp. xvi-4)
    Linck C. Johnson

    The deceptively simple and seemingly straightforward title of Thoreau’s first book at once announces its ostensible subject and obliquely indicates its major theme.A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Riversis just that, an account of a seven day’s voyage, rich in the accumulated impressions of life in and along a major river and its lesser tributary. But in other ways that voyage is less the subject of the book than the occasion for an extended meditation on the flux of time and the ever-flowing rivers. The introductory chapter “Concord River,” where Thoreau stands by the banks of his...

  5. Concord River
    (pp. 5-14)

    The Musketaquid, or Grass-ground River, though probably as old as the Nile or Euphrates, did not begin to have a place in civilized history, until the fame of its grassy meadows and its fish attracted settlers out of England in 1635, when it received the other but kindred name of Concord from the first plantation on its banks, which appears to have been commenced in a spirit of peace and harmony. It will be Grass-ground River as long as grass grows and water runs here; it will be Concord River only while men lead peaceable lives on its banks. To...

  6. Saturday.
    (pp. 15-42)

    At length, on Saturday, the last day of August, 1839, we two, brothers, and natives of Concord, weighed anchor in this river port; for Concord, too, lies under the sun, a port of entry and departure for the bodies as well as the souls of men; one shore at least exempted from all duties but such as an honest man will gladly discharge. A warm drizzling rain had obscured the morning, and threatened to delay our voyage, but at length the leaves and grass were dried, and it came out a mild afternoon, as serene and fresh as if nature...

  7. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  8. Sunday.
    (pp. 43-116)

    In the morning the river and adjacent country were covered with a dense fog, through which the smoke of our fire curled up like a still subtiler mist; but before we had rowed many rods, the sun arose and the fog rapidly dispersed, leaving a slight steam only to curl along the surface of the water. It was a quiet Sunday morning, with more of the auroral rosy and white than of the yellow light in it, as if it dated from earlier than the fall of man, and still preserved a heathenish integrity;—

    An early unconverted Saint,

    Free from...

  9. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  10. Monday.
    (pp. 117-178)

    When the first light dawned on the earth, and the birds awoke, and the brave river was heard rippling confidently seaward, and the nimble early rising wind rustled the oak leaves about our tent, all men, having reinforced their bodies and their souls with sleep, and cast aside doubt and fear, were invited to unattempted adventures.

    “All courageous knichtis

    Agains the day dichtis

    The breest-plate that bricht is,

    To feght with their fone.

    The stoned steed stampis

    Throw curage and crampis,

    Syne on the land lampis;

    The night is neir gone.”

    One of us took the boat over to the...

  11. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  12. Tuesday.
    (pp. 179-234)

    Long before daylight we ranged abroad with hatchet in hand, in search of fuel, and made the yet slumbering and dreaming wood resound with our blows. Then with our fire we burned up a portion of the loitering night, while the kettle sang its homely strain to the morning star. We tramped about the shore, waked all the muskrats, and scared up the bittern and birds that were asleep upon their roosts; we hauled up and upset our boat, and washed it and rinsed out the clay, talking aloud as if it were broad day, until at length, by three...

  13. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  14. Wednesday.
    (pp. 235-297)

    Early this morning, as we were rolling up our buffaloes and loading our boat amid the dew, while our embers were still smoking, the masons who worked at the locks, and whom we had seen crossing the river in their boat the evening before while we were examining the rock, came upon us as they were going to their work, and we found that we had pitched our tent directly in their path to their boat. This was the only time that we were observed on our camping ground. Thus, far from the beaten highways and the dust and din...

  15. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  16. Thursday.
    (pp. 298-333)

    When we awoke this morning, we heard the faint deliberate and ominous sound of rain drops on our cotton roof. The rain had pattered all night, and now the whole country wept, the drops falling in the river, and on the alders, and in the pastures, and instead of any bow in the heavens, there was the trill of the chip-sparrow all the morning. The cheery faith of this little bird atoned for the silence of the whole woodland quire beside. When we first stepped abroad, a flock of sheep, led by their rams, came rushing down a ravine in...

  17. Friday.
    (pp. 334-394)

    As we lay awake long before day-break, listening to the rippling of the river and the rustling of the leaves, in suspense whether the wind blew up or down the stream, was favorable or unfavorable to our voyage, we already suspected that there was a change in the weather, from a freshness as of autumn in these sounds. The wind in the woods sounded like an incessant waterfall dashing and roaring amid rocks, and we even felt encouraged by the unusual activity of the elements. He who hears the rippling of rivers in these degenerate days will not utterly despair....

  18. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  19. Index
    (pp. 395-415)