HOME PAGE buttonAbout the Book buttonThe Photographs buttonAbout Scot Miller buttonExhibitions & Events buttonBehind the Lens ButtonVIDEOS buttonFACEBOOK button

The Maine Woods Contents page


About the Book...

The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau was published posthumously in 1864, two years after Thoreau’s death. As Jeff Cramer of the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods notes in his foreword to the Levenger Press collector’s edition, Thoreau’s last words summoned his time in Maine: “Indian” and “moose.”

The Maine Woods contains three separate accounts by Thoreau of his trips to the northern Maine wilderness. The first was in 1846, when he climbed Mount Katahdin (Thoreau spelled it “Ktaadn”). The second was in 1853, and titled “Chesuncook”; in it he recounts a moose hunt. The third, in 1857, is titled “The Allegash and East Branch.” It tells of Thoreau’s river journey, where his Penobscot guide paid him the high compliment of conferring on him an Indian name that meant “great paddler.”

Throughout The Maine Woods, Thoreau botanizes and philosophizes. He recounts the pleasures of sleeping with the sky as his ceiling and relays the Penobscot names for rivers and streams and other characteristics of the Maine Woods (the word “echo” is Pockadunkquaywayle). He delights in the blueberries and bemoansThe Maine Woods book cover the mosquitoes. (Some aspects of nature truly are timeless.)

The Maine Woods is very much an adventure book for nature lovers. It’s also a book that reminds us of the value of conservation and preservation.

It’s still possible to see much of what Thoreau sees in his Maine Woods journeys today. The photographs in this Levenger Press edition offer a lens for witnessing much of what Thoreau did…even if you have never been to Maine.

Read excerpts from The Maine Woods (in the Levenger Press edition, the full text is included) & see additional photographs at Levenger.com.