Letters to a Spiritual Seeker

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9780393327564: Letters to a Spiritual Seeker

"With quotable lines on every page, this is an important and affecting addition to the Thoreau shelf." ―Booklist

The writing of Henry David Thoreau is as full of life today as it was when he published Walden one hundred years ago. In seeking to understand nature, Thoreau sought to "lead a fresh, simple life with God." In 1848 a seeker named Harrison Blake, yearning for a spiritual life of his own, asked the then-fledgling writer for guidance. The fifty letters that ensued, collected here for the first time in their own volume by Thoreau specialist Bradley P. Dean, are by turns earnest, oracular, witty, playful, practical― and deeply insightful and inspiring, as one would expect from America's best prose stylist and great moral philosopher.

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About the Author:

Bradley P. Dean, an independent scholar living in West Peterborough, New Hampshire, has written extensively on Thoreau's life and writings, and has edited two of Thoreau's previously unpublished booklength manuscripts.

From Booklist:

Thoreau's indelible writings on nature, liberty, justice, solitude, and simplicity are infused with spirituality, and, indeed, his entire quest to live an honorable life is a spiritual one, although he didn't overtly characterize it as such. He did, however, directly address matters of the spirit in a remarkable set of 50 letters written to Harrison Gray Otis Blake, an ex-Unitarian minister who initiated their 13-year correspondence in 1848 in his only extant letter. Dean, the Thoreau scholar who rescued Thoreau's magnificent and forgotten Wild Fruits (1999), now gathers together for the first time the American sage's still stirring and relevant spiritual musings and expertly sets them within biographical and historical contexts. Here Thoreau explicates his inclusive view of spirituality born of his intense attentiveness to nature and deep study of both Eastern and Western religious traditions. Here Thoreau, who has a knack for turning everyday activities into striking metaphors, analogies, and allegories, muses provocatively on work, contemplation, and responsibility. With quotable lines on every page, this is an important and affecting addition to the Thoreau shelf. Donna Seaman
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