Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

A selective list of online literary criticism for American essayist Henry David Thoreau, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars, and articles published in peer-reviewed sources


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Introduction

"Henry David Thoreau." Introduction to Thoreau, from the college textbook publisher the Heath Anthology of American Literature.

Updike, John. "A sage for all seasons." The (UK) Guardian, 26 June 2004.

"Emerson & Thoreau; Nature & Walden." A brief introduction, from C-Span.

Henry David Thoreau Papers. In addition to being a writer, lecturer, and naturalist, Thoreau was by profession a surveyor. The Concord Public Library has digitized and made available Thoreau's land surveys (including a survey of Bronson Alcott's property).


Literary Criticism

Bickman, Martin. "Thoreau and the Tradition of the Active Mind." American Transcendentalism Web.

Bryson, J. Scott. "Seeing the West Side of Any Mountain: Thoreau and Contemporary Ecological Poetry." Orig. pub. in Thoreau's Sense of Place: Essays in American Environmental Writing (1999).

Buell, Laurence. The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture. Harvard UP, 1995. Preview at Google Books.

Hirshfield, Jane. "Thoreau's hound: On hiddenness." American Poetry Review, May/Jun 2002 [subscription service].

Marx, Steven. "The Struggle Over Thoreau." NY Review of Books 24 June 1999 [first page only]. Also Buell, Laurence. In response to "The Struggle Over Thoreau." With a further reply by Leo Marx. NY Review of Books, 2 Dec., 1999. A debate between two important literary critics about the environmental movement and literature.

Marx, Steven. A review of Laurence Buell, The Environmental Imagination (Harvard UP 1995).

Woodlief, Ann. "The Influence of Theories of Rhetoric on Thoreau." Thoreau Journal Quarterly 7 (1975).

Woodlief, Ann. "Emerson and Thoreau as American Prophets of Eco-wisdom." Paper presented to Virginia Humanities Conference, 1990.

Yarborough, Wynn. "Readings of Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government." On changes in critics' reaction to Thoreau's essay from the 1920s to the 1970s. American Transcendentalism Web.


Web Sites

"Henry David Thoreau." Ed. Wendell P. Glick. A guide for teaching Thoreau. From educational publisher Heath.

The American Transcendentalism Web. Ed. Ann Woodlief. Covers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Theodore Parker, Amos Bronson Alcott, Jones Very, William Ellery Channing, Christopher Cranch, Orestes Brownson, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody; contains articles about the roots of American Transcendentalism and its legacy; reprints important essays; has books reviews, recommended links, and more.

"The Thoreau Reader," ed. Richard Lenat. Access to many brief essays on Thoreau, some by scholars, others lighter in nature and geared towards high school students.

ATQ, American Transcendental Quarterly Ed. Josie P. Campbell. The journal folded in 2008 for lack of funds.

"The Walden Woods Project." Dedicated to conservation, education, and research.


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