Books: 19th Century Outsider

CONSCIOUSNESS IN CONCORD (243 pp.) —Henry David Thoreau, with notes and a commentary by Perry Miller—Houghton Mifflin ($4).

J. Pierpont Morgan the elder made the purchase of a yellow pine box in 1909. Legend had it that the box was carpentered by Henry David Thoreau in his dying year (1862). Loosely fitted in this wooden frame were 38 manuscript notebooks in which the author of Walden had kept his monumental (nearly two million words) Journal, written in the course of 24 years. The box also offered a mystery. It concerned a missing notebook dating...

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