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Selected Books by Thoreau

Walden, Civil disobedience, and other writings : authoritative texts, journal, reviews and posthumous assessments, criticism / Henry D. Thoreau ; edited by William Rossi.
Walden :
a fully annotated edition / Henry D. Thoreau ; edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer
Annotated Walden: Walden; or, Life in the woods, by Henry D. Thoreau. Together with Civil disobedience, a detailed chronology and various pieces about its author, the writing and publishing of the book
Variorum Walden and the variorum Civil disobedience / Henry David Thoreau ; Annotated and with introductions by Walter Harding.
Making of Walden, with the text of the first version
Journal, 1837-1861 / Henry David Thoreau ; edited by Damion Searls
Journal. Edited by Bradford Torrey and Francis H. Allen. Foreword by Walter Harding (14 v.)
Consciousness in Concord; the text of Thoreau’s hitherto "lost journal," 1840-1841, together with notes and a commentary by Perry Miller
Early essays and miscellanies / Henry D. Thoreau ; edited by Joseph J. Moldenhauer
Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers, by Henry David Thoreau
Maine woods. Edited by Joseph J. Moldenhauer
Cape Cod; arranged with notes by Dudley C. Lunt
Collected poems. Edited by Carl Bode
Faith in a seed: The dispersion of seeds and other late natural history writings / Henry D. Thoreau ; edited by Bradley P. Dean

ebrary online editions (log-in required):
Walden and other writings of Henry David Thoreau [electronic resource] / Henry David Thoreau ; edited by Brooks Atkinson
Walden [electronic resource] ; and, Civil disobedience / by Henry David Thoreau ; with an introduction by Michael Meyer

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Literature Online

     This is the Author Page for Thoreau in Literature Online.  Under "Texts by Henry David Thoreau" you will find the full text of Walden and several of Thoreau's periodical essays, as well as the complete poetry.  The "Biography," "Reference Works," and "Web Sites" links all lead to useful online information.  For the live version, click here (log-in required).
     The "Criticism" link, however, retrieves citations for every article on Thoreau collected by the Modern Language Association and the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature over the past century (more than 5,000).  To focus on articles about Walden, use the standard "Criticism" search interface, where you can enter Walden as a "Subject" search (eliminating 4,300 of the "Thoreau" retrievals), add Keywords for focus, and limit your search results to "Articles."
     Also note that while there is full text available here (look for page or camera icons to the left of a citation), when Literature Online does not supply full text you can check for availability from the IC Library's many other databases by clicking the green arrow below each citation: 

America: History & Life

    America: History and Life : This database can be invaluable because it allows you to set a "Historical Period" limit (below the search slots on the left).  If you set this for 1840-1860, any Subjects or Keywords you enter above will retrieve articles on that topic as it played out during the decades of Thoreau's most intensive literary production.  For example, a Subject search on Nature with that time limit will retrieve articles on other American figures concerned practically or artistically with the American environment.  But: be aware that setting a Period limit of 1840-1860 will also retrieve any Period that contains those 20 years--for example an article on American landscape painting between 1790 and 1865.
     This is also a good database to find articles on American transcendentalism.  In Philosophers Index and other IC databases, a Subject search on Transcendentalism will retrieve mostly articles on 18th century German philosophy.  But given the national focus here, Transcendentalism as a Subject retrieves mostly articles on the American/New England phenomenon.  And of course Thoreau, Henry David also works well as a Subject search.
     Be sure to set the "Document Type" limit to "Article" to weed out all the many book reviews that will otherwise clot your search for articles.
          There's a good deal of full text here, but where there isn't be sure to use the "Find Full Text" link below citations to see if another IC database can supply it.

Other Selected Databases

JSTOR : Articles here are scholarly and 100% full text.  JSTOR has deep archival pockets and will retrieve articles on Thoreau from across the 20th century, so watch the dates.  Check the "Article" box below the search slots to eliminate reviews of books about Thoreau.  There is no Subject searching here, but a simple Keyword search on--Thoreau and Walden--will get you started.

Project Muse : Although a smaller database, Project Muse complements JSTOR. LIke JSTOR it provides 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, but its coverage is entirely current--mainly spanning the last 10-15 years. Although all articles in Porject Muse are assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings, you cannot enter a Subject search as such.  Your options are to  "Browse Subject Headings" to the right of the search slots or enter a Subject Heading in the "All fields except text" field: Thoreau, Henry David.   And as with JSTOR it's a good idea to limit your search to "Articles Only" by checking that box beneath the search slots--to weed out reviews of books on your topic.

ProQuest Research Library : At the search page and open the "More Search options" tab below the search slots.  Thoreau, David Henry should be entered in the "Person" slot and  Walden can be added in one of the "citation and abstract" (Keyword) slots above.  Note that the tabs above a retrieval set allow you to look at just the scholarly journals or just the magazines.  ProQuest will also suggest related Subject searches at the top of your results screen.

GreenFILE : An environmental themed database where a 'People" search on Thoreau, Henry David will retrieve several dozen articles on Thoreau as naturalist.  Use the "Find Full text" links below citations to check availability from other IC Library databases.

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Lisabeth Chabot

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Search Argos

Title Page 1854 First Edition


Web Resources

Selected Thoreau & Walden Sites

  • The Thoreau Reader: This site from the University of Iowa in cooperation with the Thoreau Society is an excellent starting point.  You'll find crisp online editions of Thoreau's major works (except A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers) and selected essays.  Better still, there is a wide range of linked articles under "More About Henry Thoreau."  Also check out the linked resources in "Teaching Thoreau."
  • And for anyone set on a close textual reading of Thoreau, there is an online "Hyper-Concordance" to the major works.

American Literature Sites

  • American Studies Web: From Georgetown University, this bills itself as the "largest directory of web-based resources in the field of American Studies," and certainly the subject categories along the left margin lead to a wealth of Web resources that are more helpfully organized than Voice of the Shuttle: American Literature (see below).
  • American Authors on the Web:  Also from WSU, this is a good gateway to sites concerned with individual writers.  Authors are listed by time period, so use the date ranges at the top to navigate.

From Walden

     "I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there.  Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one."
     "I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."