First edition, in the Z cloth, one of a number of cloth variants used for this edition with no precedence. Excursions is a collection of nine essays, including several on natural history. Thoreau became increasingly fascinated with this subject during the last two decades of his life, making detailed observations of the changing landscape around his home. Previously dismissed as minor works by scholars, the investigations recorded here are now seen as scientifically significant. The essay “The Succession of Forest Trees”, for instance, explains the reasons that woodlands regenerate differently following a fire, and is based on Thoreau’s own experiments and observations. This and his essay “Wild Apples”, on the loss of native fruit varieties, have led some to describe him as one of the first ecologists, though as a Transcendentalist he had a complex and shifting relationship with science throughout his life. Also included is a biographical essay on Thoreau by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. A beautiful copy, rarely found in such nice condition.
Octavo. Original blue-green diamond-patterned cloth, titles to spine gilt, brown coated endpapers, boards blocked in blind with leaf cornerpieces and central wreath. With a later cloth protector. Portrait frontispiece. A few small ink spots to cloth, small worn spot to edge of upper board, offsetting from frontispiece to title page. A beautiful copy with the binding tight and fresh.
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