Letters to a Spiritual Seeker

Letters to a Spiritual Seeker

Paperback((Edited by Bradley P. Dean))

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Overview

"With quotable lines on every page, this is an important and affecting addition to the Thoreau shelf." —Booklist


The writing of Henry David Thoreau is as full of life today as it was when he published Walden one hundred years ago. In seeking to understand nature, Thoreau sought to "lead a fresh, simple life with God." In 1848 a seeker named Harrison Blake, yearning for a spiritual life of his own, asked the then-fledgling writer for guidance. The fifty letters that ensued, collected here for the first time in their own volume by Thoreau specialist Bradley P. Dean, are by turns earnest, oracular, witty, playful, practical— and deeply insightful and inspiring, as one would expect from America's best prose stylist and great moral philosopher.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393327564
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 11/17/2005
Edition description: (Edited by Bradley P. Dean)
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 760,796
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Bradley P. Dean, an independent scholar living in West Peterborough, New Hampshire, has written extensively on Thoreau's life and writings, and has edited two of Thoreau's previously unpublished booklength manuscripts.

Table of Contents

Introduction11
A Note on the Texts27
Illustrations29
Letter 1March 1848 (from Blake)33
Letter 2March 27, 184835
Letter 3May 2, 184840
Letter 4April 17, 184945
Letter 5August 10, 184946
Letter 6November 20, 184948
Letter 7April 3, 185052
Letter 8May 28, 185056
Letter 9August 9, 185059
Letter 10July 21, 185263
Letter 11September 185267
Letter 11Enclosure 169
Letter 11Enclosure 276
Letter 12February 27, 185381
Letter 13April 10, 185389
Letter 14December 19 and 22, 185393
Letter 15January 21, 185499
Letter 16August 8, 1854103
Letter 17September 21, 1854107
Letter 18October 5, 1854109
Letter 19October 14, 1854111
Letter 20December 19, 1854112
Letter 21December 22, 1854116
Letter 22June 27, 1855118
Letter 23July 8, 1855121
Letter 24July 14, 1855123
Letter 25September 26, 1855124
Letter 26December 9, 1855127
Letter 27March 13, 1856130
Letter 28May 21, 1856134
Letter 29November 19, 1856137
Letter 30December 6 and 7, 1856140
Letter 31December 31, 1856145
Letter 32February 6, 1857147
Letter 33April 17, 1857148
Letter 34June 6, 1857150
Letter 35June 23, 1857151
Letter 36August 18, 1857152
Letter 37November 16, 1857155
Letter 38June 1, 1858161
Letter 39June 29, 1858162
Letter 40July 1, 1858163
Letter 41January 1, 1859165
Letter 42January 19 and 29, 1859171
Letter 43February 7, 1859173
Letter 44September 26, 1859174
Letter 45October 31, 1859177
Letter 46May 20, 1860180
Letter 47August 3, 1860184
Letter 48November 4, 1860186
Letter 49December 2, 1860192
Letter 50May 3, 1861193
Notes197
Acknowledgments263
A Note to the Reader265

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Letters To A Spiritual Seeker 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
StephenBarkley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Let me just confess something up front: I bought this book because of the beautiful canoe on the cover. Sure, I rationalized it in other ways. "Spiritual" in the title peaked my interest, and I did appreciate Walden. But it was the canoe sold it.To read the blurbers, you'd think this book was a new gospel. Here's what Terry Tempest Williams said: "I open this book at random and find daily strength in Thoreau's words that gives me courage. . . . This is a book I keep on my desk as a record of shared faith." I can't agree.While there were occasional moments of brilliance, I found this collection of letters increasingly self-indulgent. The off-hand references to scripture and mythology came off as pretentious.The layout of the book was another problem. Because of the culture gap and Thoreau's wide range of references, there were copious notes. This would be good if they were printed on the same page as the letter. Instead, all 64 pages of footnotes were tucked away at the end of the book. That means you have to flip back and forth to read just under a third of the content of the volume.Read and enjoy Walden. Don't get sidetracked here.
NateJordon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As always, Thoreau's words are as poignant today as they were 150 years ago. His musings on life and the purpose of it are a beacon to all seekers. His critique of society's ills continue to ring true - though society and culture have changed dramatically since his time, the nature of mankind has essentially stayed the same; the social, cultural, political, and financial challenges we face today are much the same and are a result of our slow evolution. Thoreau provides insight into the core of these issues.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thoreau's letters to H.G.O. Blake are truly inspirational. Thoreau points the way to a rewarding, spiritually uplifting life. One that places emphasis on life itself, not on the acquisition of material possessions which so frequently dominate one's life. One of the most impressive books I've ever read. 'This is a book for everyone who does not wish to come to the end of his life and discover that he has not lived.'