(June 6, 2011)
The Thoreau Update
The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods Library e-newsletter

The Quotable Thoreau

 a reading and discussion by

Jeffrey S. Cramer


Thursday, June 16, 2011

at the

Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods

44 Baker Farm, Lincoln, MA


Doors open at 7:00 for a wine and cheese reception supported by the Cheese Shop of Concord.


The presentation begins promptly at 7:30

with a book signing following.


Seating is limited. For reservations call 781-259-4707.


"With the possible exception of Emerson, it is hard to name any American writer more quotable than Thoreau. This is a book that his many readers and admirers will want to read, browse, and return to." --William E. Cain, Wellesley College


About The Quotable Thoreau


Quotable Thoreau cover

Few writers are more quotable than Henry David Thoreau. His books, essays, journals, poems, letters, and unpublished manuscripts contain an inexhaustible treasure of epigrams and witticisms, from the famous ("The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation") to the obscure ("Who are the estranged? Two friends explaining") and the surprising ("I would exchange my immortality for a glass of small beer this hot weather").  

The Quotable Thoreau, the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of Thoreau quotations ever assembled, gathers more than 2,000 memorable passages from this iconoclastic American author, social reformer, environmentalist, and self-reliant thinker. Including Thoreau's thoughts on topics ranging from sex to solitude, manners to miracles, government to God, life to death, and everything in between, the book captures Thoreau's profundity as well as his humor ("If misery loves company, misery has company enough"). Drawing primarily on The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, published by Princeton University Press, The Quotable Thoreau is thematically arranged, fully indexed, richly illustrated, and thoroughly documented. For the student of Thoreau, it will be invaluable. For those who think they know Thoreau, it will be a revelation. And for the reader seeking sheer pleasure, it will be a joy. 


  • Over 2,000 quotations on more than 150 subjects
  • Richly illustrated with historic photographs and drawings
  • Thoreau on himself and his contemporaries
  • Thoreau's contemporaries on Thoreau
  • Biographical time line
  • Appendix of misquotations and misattributions
  • Fully indexed
  • Suggestions for further reading

About the Author


Jeffrey Cramer

Jeffrey S. Cramer is curator of collections at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods. Jeff is the editor of three volumes for Yale University Press (Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition; I to Myself: An Annotated Selection from the Journal of Henry D. Thoreau; and The Maine Woods: A Fully-Annotated Edition);  as well as the forthcoming: The Portable Thoreau (Penguin) and  Selected Essays of Henry David Thoreau: A Fully-Annotated Edition (Yale University Press); and most recently The Quotable Thoreau (Princeton University Press).


Author's website:







HDT1"I have sometimes imagined a library, i.e. a collection of the works of true poets, philosophers, naturalists, etc., deposited not in a brick and marble edifice in a crowded and dusty city ... but rather far away in the depths of the primitive forest ... " - Henry D. Thoreau, 3 February 1852


The Thoreau Institute Library collects research materials relating to Henry D. Thoreau (1817-1862), his historical context, and his contemporary relevance to environmental and human-rights issues. The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods is owned and managed by the Walden Woods Project.


Visitors are welcome.   
Schedule a visit or a group tour today.

Please forward this newsletter to a friend who may be interested.

Jeffrey S. Cramer, Curator of Collections
The Walden Woods Project