Excursions presents texts of nine essays, including some of Henry D. Thoreau's most engaging and popular works, newly edited and based on the most authoritative versions of each. These essays represent Thoreau in many stages of his writing career, ranging from 1842--when he accepted Emerson's commission to review four volumes of botanical and zoological catalogues in an essay that was published in The Dial as Natural History of Massachusetts--to 1862, when he prepared Wild Apples, a lecture he had delivered during the Concord Lyceum's 1859-1860 season, for publication in the Atlantic Monthly after his death. Three other early meditations on natural history and human nature, A Winter Walk, A Walk to Wachusett, and The Landlord, were originally published in 1842 and 1843. Lively, light pieces, they reveal Thoreau's early use of themes and approaches that recur throughout his work.
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