THOREAU, Henry David (1817-1862)
Walden; or Life in the Woods
Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. 8vo. 357, pp. Title vignette of Thoreau's cabin, engraved plan. Publisher's ads dated April 1854 inserted in the rear.
Publisher's blindstamped brown cloth, minor wear at head and tail of spine, spine ruled in blind and lettered in gilt, yellow endpapers
Provenance: Village Improvement Society, Tioga PA (early inked stamps on the title, table of contents and endpapers)
First edition of the iconic work of American literature: in an unsophisticated original binding and with the earliest issue of the ads.
"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" (p. 98). The early ownership to the Tioga Village Improvement Society is interesting. Founded in the early 1890s, the Society was part of a civic beautification movement being enacted across the country, which sought to bring the harmony of nature to growing urban social disorder.
BAL 20106; Borst A2.1.a; Grolier American 63; Allen, pp. 8-10.