Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861” as Want to Read:
The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  166 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Henry David Thoreau’sJournalwas his life’s work: the daily practice of writing that accompanied his daily walks, the workshop where he developed his books and essays, and a project in its own right—one of the most intensive explorations ever made of the everyday environment, the revolving seasons, and the changing self. It is a treasure trove of some of the finest prose in ...more
ebook, 704 pages
Published November 16th 2011 by NYRB Classics (first published June 1960)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 918)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Douglas Dalrymple
It can only be the massive bulk of the thing in unexpurgated form that keeps the Journal from its rightful place on the top shelf of American literature. NYRB's abbreviated edition may do something to help more readers find it. Thoreau in the Journal (especially by his mid-thirties, when he’d grown up a bit) is better than he is anywhere else: fresher, less naive and less preachy, more reflective and self-questioning. Whatever he turns his eyes to, his powers of observation astonish. So does his ...more
Francisca Pageo
Mar 06, 2014 Francisca Pageo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
CLibrosuesta creer y asimilar cómo alguien puede amar tanto la naturaleza, tanto que se adentra en ella y la hace suya, propia, casi digna de la vida de un animal silvestre que crece, se entremezcla y se diluye con ella. Así es la vida que Henry David Thoreau nos relata en sus diarios, los cuales abarcan desde el 22 de Octubre de 1837 hasta el 2 Septiembre de 1861. En ellos, Thoreau nos habla de los bosques, lagos, riachuelos, árboles y animales. Nos los describe, y como él mismo dice: “¿No podr ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this is cheating on my part, but it is good some version of the Journal is out there (so go get it, dear ones). What I have, and have had since purchase in the early 1970's, is the Dover two volume complete journals of Thoreau, every little observed gnat or weed, every small exclamation of awe or beauty, every depressed rumination over friendship. It was in his journals that our Henry worked out what would become his essays and his books; where he polishes phrases and notes the bloom time ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like a rough draft of Walden with lots more weather and plant observations. He recorded on July 6, 1845: “I wish to meet the facts of life—the vital facts, which are the phenomena or actuality the gods meant to show us—face to face, and so I came down here.” Also reveals more of his ornery character: “Most New England biographies and journals—John Adams’s not excepted—affect me like the opening of tombs.” Good for a few pages a day, as a companion to contemplation.
Nov 10, 2010 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of Thoreau and was delighted to see his journals collected in a book. He writes beautifully and his thoughts about life and society are often brilliant and thought-provoking, though there was a bit too much about nature for my taste (detailed descriptions of plants, animals, seasons, temperature, weather, ponds).
A good guide for hiking, inspires better observation and description. Wonderful variety. Not plot bound, which I like.
Dec 30, 2015 Kiko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henry D. Thoreau (1817-1862) comenzó a escribir su diario cuando tenía veinte años. Desde ese momento y hasta su muerte completaría más de siete mil páginas que editarían por primera vez Bradford Torrey y Francis H. Allen en 1906. Esta primera publicación se repartía en catorce volúmenes. Luego llegarían nuevas reimpresiones y ediciones –las de Dover Books o Peregrine Smith Books- que irían completando el original tras el descubrimiento de nuevos textos.

En la edición que nos ocupa, El Diario (18
Feb 14, 2015 Ty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Journal is huge. To be accessible to most, an abridgment is necessary. This abridgment, one of the most recent, succeeds in bringing the deep spirituality, keen observation and passionate but simple prose of Henry David Thoreau's private writing together in a still large but manageable volume.

To review the writing of Thoreau himself is a different affair than review a particular collection of same. Though at times the man does allow himself to be carried away by the smallest of details, ramb
Jun 26, 2012 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: individualists, writers, iconoclasts
Recommended to James by: Ennyman's Territory (
This is a book to read and reread, relishing the thoughts of Henry David Thoreau on life, nature and humanity. He was a complex but simple man, well-read but for all his reading his imagination was on fire with thoughts that were his own and seeds for the ages. He was a journalist in the original sense of the word as one who creates a journal, and his was based on the facts of his life as he lived mainly in Concord and briefly at Walden Pond.
"How simple is the natural connection of events. We co
Feb 26, 2016 Shashi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every author should have this book on the bedside table. Not only because it has the day to day life etched on to the working table but also because it opens oneself to give importance to things that are common place but have a huge potential of becoming uncommon, only if we focus.
Apr 07, 2014 Doubledf99.99 rated it it was amazing
For one who enjoys the great outdoors, walking, and hiking, its a great companion, also helped me to get started into keeping a journal.
Its like a continual never ending read, always checking something in it..
Carolyn Hoffman
Mar 25, 2013 Carolyn Hoffman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I prefer the journals to most of the other writings . I love their immediacy and the writing is still amazing.I'm re-reading Thoreau's journals again. Sometimes I no sooner finish then I start again.
Saket Suryesh
Dec 04, 2013 Saket Suryesh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disarmingly honest, a great viewpoint and poetic in rendering. What a memoir, so well written, so good..must read. No pretence, no self-righteous high moral ground, no dirty linens being washed here..vow!
Feb 03, 2016 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED Thoreau's journals when I was younger. I think I read all 14 volumes. If not all, then I certainly came close.
Apr 22, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superior
great collection. my copy is currently roaming the country on a great adventure.
Aug 30, 2012 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like poetry. Beautiful and brilliant and extremely applicable.
Aug 02, 2016 Paul marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no
I believe this is maria popova's favorite book
Florian Maganza
Florian Maganza marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2016
Mary Myers
Mary Myers marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2016
Lisadee rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2016
Jared Picou
Jared Picou marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2016
Jonathan Tonkin
Jonathan Tonkin marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2016
Kristi marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2016
Thomas marked it as to-read
Aug 17, 2016
Leigh marked it as to-read
Aug 17, 2016
Amit Singh
Amit Singh marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2016
Mayank added it
Aug 16, 2016
Hannah Rice
Hannah Rice marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2016
Suyog marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 31 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
NYRB Classics: The Journal of Henry David Thoreau 1837 - 1861 3 8 Oct 24, 2013 05:19PM  
  • Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind
  • The Middle of the Journey
  • Reveille in Washington, 1860-65
  • Nature Stories
  • The Stammering Century
  • Twenty Days with Julian and Little Bunny by Papa
  • The Hall of Uselessness: Collected Essays
  • The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey Through Twentieth-Century Philosophy
  • Part of Our Time: Some Ruins & Monuments of the Thirties
  • Pages from the Goncourt Journals
  • Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself
  • All the Strange Hours: The Excavation of a Life
  • Everett Ruess: A Vagabond for Beauty
  • Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast
  • The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert
  • Selected Essays, Lectures, and Poems
  • Miami and the Siege of Chicago
  • The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual: A Historical Analysis of the Failure of Black Leadership
Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau)was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, philosopher, and abolitionist who is best known for Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

Thoreau's books,
More about Henry David Thoreau...

Share This Book

“When I consider that the nobler animal have been exterminated here - the cougar, the panther, lynx, wolverine, wolf, bear, moose, dear, the beaver, the turkey and so forth and so forth, I cannot but feel as if I lived in a tamed and, as it were, emasculated country... Is it not a maimed and imperfect nature I am conversing with? As if I were to study a tribe of Indians that had lost all it's warriors...I take infinite pains to know all the phenomena of the spring, for instance, thinking that I have here the entire poem, and then, to my chagrin, I hear that it is but an imperfect copy that I possess and have read, that my ancestors have torn out many of the first leaves and grandest passages, and mutilated it in many places. I should not like to think that some demigod had come before me and picked out some of the best of the stars. I wish to know an entire heaven and an entire earth.” 53 likes
“Man is the artificer of his own happiness.” 16 likes
More quotes…