John Burroughs: An American Naturalist

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9781883789169: John Burroughs: An American Naturalist
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"John is so calm, so poised, so much at home with himself, so much a familiar spirit of the forests, " wrote Walt Whitman of his friend, the naturalist and writer John Burroughs. "He is a child of the woods, fields, hills - native to them in a rare sense (in a sense almost a miracle)." Henry James called Burroughs "a more humorous, more available and more sociable Thoreau. James wrote that "the minuteness of Burroughs's observation, the keenness of his perception, give him a real originality, and his sketches have a delightful oddity, vivacity, and freshness." Burroughs was born in 1837, the same year that Henry Thoreau graduated from Harvard. Along with Thoreau and John Muir, he was one of the nineteenth century's most popular and preeminent nature writers. In the course of his long life, Burroughs authored more than twenty-eight books on natural history and literature. Writing during the increasingly industrial decades of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Burroughs stayed constant to the transcendental message of his idols - Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman. During what Mark Twain called the "faithless" era of the Gilded Age, Burroughs urged his readers to go to the woods to develop a relationship with nature that did not "vulgarize it and rob it of its divinity." In this outstanding new book - the first full biography of John Burroughs to be published since 1925 - Edward J Renehan, Jr. draws on a wealth of previously unpublished manuscripts, journals, and letters to reveal the life of the dean of American nature writers. Renehan describes Burroughs's relationships with some of the most notable figures of his time, including Jay Gould, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Carlyle, Thomas Edison, John Muir, E. H. Harriman, Andrew Carnegie, Oscar Wilde and especially Walt Whitman, Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Ford, with whom he developed complicated and enduring friendships.

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About the Author:

Edward J. Renehan Jr. is the author of "The Kennedys at War" (Doubleday, 2002) and "The Lion's Pride" (Oxford University Press, 1998).

From Publishers Weekly:

Through his essays in books and popular magazines, John Burroughs (1851-1921) taught countless Americans to appreciate nature. In this, the first comprehensive biography of him to be published since 1925, Renehan draws on original sources to portray Burroughs as the boy from a poor farming family in the Catskills who as a man hobnobbed with such eminent figures as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and Theodore Roosevelt. In 1863, after teaching in rural schools, Burroughs and his wife Ursula moved to Washington, D.C., where Walt Whitman encouraged the younger man's literary efforts. Theirs was an enduring friendship; Burroughs defended Whitman's poetry and wrote the first biography of him. Renehan traces his subject's unhappy marriage and his return to a farm in the Catskills. He chronicles Burroughs's growing fame, his friendships with other writers and his liaison with Clara Barrus, who became his literary executor. Renehan, editor of A River View , has restored Burroughs to a well-deserved place in American literature and conservation. Photos. Reader's Subscription alternate.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780930031596: John Burroughs: An American Naturalist

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ISBN 10:  0930031598 ISBN 13:  9780930031596
Publisher: Chelsea Green Pub Co, 1992
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