Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. First edition. Original publisher's cloth binding embossed in blind. Yellow endpapers. A Near Fine copy, with a bit of chipping to spine ends, and some light foxing to pastedowns. Pencil ownership signature to front pastedown, else internally unmarked and surprisingly fresh. Includes adverts at front and rear dated September 1854 (The earliest date of adverts is April 1854, but the book was not published until July of that year. BAL states that advert dates are of "no known bibliographical significance"). One of just 2,000 copies of the first edition, the importance of which cannot be overstated.
"Henry David Thoreau lived for two years, two months, and two days by Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. His time in Walden Woods became a model of deliberate and ethical living" as he grappled with the environmental and social challenges of his own time (Walden Project). A reformer seeking truth and balance in nature, Thoreau wrote of his experience in the present text; and his words continue inspiring world leaders, climate change activists, and those who simply aim to find their own best version of life. "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
BAL 20106. Near Fine (Item #4279)