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The Maine Woods: A Fully Annotated Edition Hardcover – November 24, 2009

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  • The Maine Woods: A Fully Annotated Edition
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  • I to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau
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Editorial Reviews


"Those who have long relished this earthy, adventurous book, as well as those who are discovering it for the first time, have reason to rejoice over this new edition, which has been so meticulously annotated by Jeffrey Cramer.”—Scott Russell Sanders, author of A Conservationist Manifesto.
(Scott Russell Sanders)

"Fresh access to The Maine Woods alone would justify this finely organized edition. Thanks to Jeffrey Cramer’s scrupulous, devoted elucidation, we now have Thoreau’s whole word- and thought-horde, as this great writer, steeped in natural history, ventures between vivid detail and rapture. Everything comes alive in these newly revealing pages, from the ‘Vast, Titanic, inhuman Nature’ Thoreau finds in climbing Katahdin to his respect for Maine’s Native Americans."—John Felstiner, author of Can Poetry Save the Earth: A Field Guide to Nature Poems
(John Felstiner)

“Having given us his beautifully annotated selections from Thoreau's journals, Jeffrey Cramer turns his attention to The Maine Woods. It is with great pleasure that we get to follow Thoreau down rivers, up mountains, and after moose, peaking with his famous experience of ‘contact!’ atop Mount Katahdin. Cramer, as our secondary guide, provides us with context, insights, and hard facts, annotations that are, to paraphrase Thoreau, clear, condensed and nut-hard. A joy to read.”—David Gessner, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

(David Gessner)

"Cramer has produced there of these handsome editions of Thoreau's work: a selection of the journals, Walden, and The Maine Woods. Thanks to the detailed glosses Cramer provides, each volume is a vade mecum for the Thoreauvian. . . . They are treasure troves of valuable information."—Robert E. Burkholder, The New England Quarterly
(Robert E. Burkholder The New England Quarterly)

About the Author

Jeffrey Cramer is curator of collections, the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Annotated edition edition (November 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300122837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300122831
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Earl R. Anderson on May 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Maine Woods" is the first American classic and still the best book in the field of naturalism, mainly because Thoreau writes from the perspective of his own safari-experience while at the same time observing plants, animals, birds, insects and topography scientifically. As a scientist his writing is informed by virtually all the books available on New England naturalism in the 1840s. Jeffrey Cramer's notes are especially helpful in tracking Thoreau's scientific sources. As a traveler interacting with others, Thoreau respects the privacy of others while disclosing his personal foibles. As a writer cognizant of history, he puts Ethan Allen in his place (a self-promoter) while comparing his northern trek to Benedict Arnold's more heroic one in 1775. (Cramer falls short in this regard when he cites Arnold's march toward Quebec as a failure.) As a sign of objectivity, Thoreau avoids the knee-jerk reaction to Benedict Arnold as "traitor." He appreciates his Abenaki and Penobscot guides for their expertise. Stylistically this is Thoreau at his best, better than "Walden," perhaps because he is less self-conscious of a need to say something clever.
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By Tom T. on December 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In addition to this edition of "The Maine Woods," I have Jeffrey Crammer's annotated editions of "Walden" and "Thoreau Essays." I had so thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from reading his annotated edition of Walden that I sought out this and the annotated volume of essays. Jeffrey Cramer's annotations are excellent making Thoreau more accessible to a wider audience. The annotations also have quite a lot to offer those already familiar with this work.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Harmon Jenkins on January 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm sure this edition of The Maine Woods, if read in hard copy, would be very interesting and enlightening and I so wish I had it. Instead, I ordered the Kindle edition which is utterly, almost indescribably disappointing. The footnotes, which are the whole reason for the edition, are positioned in such a way that you cannot get at them, as there is no electronic connection between the citation in the text and the footnote itself. Moreover, the footnotes are collected, apparently randomly, here and there, interrupting the text completely so that it's impossible to read the text through, and equally impossible to access the footnotes when needed. Whoever transcribed this, or however it was mechanically transcribed, it was a grave error--and I strongly urge anyone who is interested in the title to look for another edition. I imagine if the poor author of this edition ever sees it, he will be outraged. As a writer, I can't imagine confronting this kind of mishmash in any text of mine.
Nancy Harmon Jenkins
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