The editor here includes the two great works on which the fame of Thoreau primarily rests. This volume offers authoritative texts of each; the text of WALDEN is that of the first edition, incorporating certain corrections and annotations that Thoreau himself made. The text of CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE is that of the first ever published version of 1849.
Relevant excerpts from Thoreau's journal amplify the study of the text. The reviews and essays cover a period of more than a hundred years; taken together they represent the diversity of opinion that has been expressed since the publication of WALDEN. The critics here represented are Daniel Ricketson, A.P. Peabody, Charles Frederick Briggs, George Eliot, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell Lowell, Van Wyck Books, F.O. Matthiessen, Stanley Edgar Hyman, Joseph Wood Krutch, Sherman Paul, E.B. White, R.W.B. Lewis, George Hendrick, J. Lyndon Shanley, Wright Morris, Perry Miller, Theodore Baird and Richard Drinnon.