A Wider View of the Universe

Henry Thoreau’s Study of Nature, Revised Edition

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About the Book

Thoreau in his early career did not consider nature a worthy subject for his pen. Beginning with only a superficial knowledge of nature—even while living at Walden Pond—he later began to study the subject more intensely in 1849. Over the next dozen years, he applied himself especially to botany and ornithology, seeking to integrate knowledge into the larger patterns of life.
Independently deriving what today would be considered an ecological worldview, Thoreau devoted the last years of his writing career to nature studies, written in his own distinctive voice.
In this revised edition of a standard study of Thoreau and nature, the author traces the origins and development of Thoreau’s shift in viewpoint and his painstaking efforts thereafter.

About the Author(s)

Robert Kuhn McGregor, emeritus professor of history at the University of Illinois-Springfield, taught environmental history, early American history, and the history of popular culture, including a course on baseball. He lives in Corning, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Kuhn McGregor
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6897-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2915-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface to the New Edition 1
Introduction 8
1. Concord 13
2. Waldo and Henry 36
3. The Pond and the Mountain 59
4. Absorbing Nature 85
5. The River 116
6. Investigating Nature 166
7. A Vision of Nature 188
Appendix: Henry Thoreau’s Writing Projects, 1837–1849 197
Chapter Notes 201
Index 217