THE MAINE WOODS. Henry D. Thoreau.


Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1864. 24 pp ads dated April 1864. Original green zigzag-grain cloth.

First Edition of Thoreau's fourth book, which consisted of only 1450 copies (per Borst; Blanck says 1650). Thoreau's three earlier books had been A WEEK ON THE CONCORD AND MERRIMACK RIVERS, WALDEN, and (after his death) EXCURSIONS.

It contains three accounts of trips to Maine: "Ktaadn" (Union Magazine 1848), describing an excursion to Mt. Ktaadn [now Katahdin] in 1846; "Chesuncook" (Atlantic Monthly 1858), about a journey from Bangor to Chesuncook Lake in 1853, with an Indian guide Joe Aitteon; and "The Allegash and East Branch" (first appearance in print), concerned with an 1857 voyage with 'a relative' and the Indian guide Joe Polis... During this excursion, Thoreau made an extended study of Polis, "one of the aristocracy" of the Penobscot Indians, a silent, capable hunter and backwoodsman. [OCAL]

The editor of these papers, though unnamed, was William Ellery Channing the younger.

Borst lists a total of nine different bindings (differing only in cloth color and texture -- no priority), but this is actually a tenth: green "zigzag" (TZ) cloth. Included is the primary April 1864 ad catalogue; we have also had copies with no catalogue, or with a June one. Condition is near-fine, with scarcely any external wear; the spine gilt and the cover blind-stamping remain crisp and sharp. The only noteworthy flaw is some damage to the front free endpaper (including a small corner torn away). THE MAINE WOODS has become uncommon in this condition. Borst A4.1.a; Blanck 20113. Item #14482

Price: $4,500.00

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