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Autumnal Tints

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  77 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Two institutions of New England, our fall colors and Henry David Thoreau, are brought together in this posthumously published rumination on Nature. Autumnal Tints was originally published in the October 1862 Atlantic Monthly. "October is the month for painted leaves. Their rich glow now flashes round the world. As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a bright tint ...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Applewood Books (first published January 1st 1906)
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Every fall, my partner and I pick a crisp sunny day to sit in her back yard, a pair of golden maple trees rising above us, the Blue Ridge Mountains visible on the horizon, and read aloud to each to each other from Thoreau's marvelous essay, "Autumnal Tints." I especially like the section "Fallen Leaves": "How many flutterings before they rest quietly in their graves!They that soared so loftily, how contentedly they return to the dust again, and are laid low, resigned to lie and decay at the foot ...more
This book suffered from misplaced expectations, so please take my review with a grain of salt! In fact, maybe don't even read it....I am just including it for my records.


Okay, I totally thought Thoreau was a poet. But, according to Wikipedia, he is an " author, poet, philosopher, polymath (I don't even know what this means), abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian". Well, this is not poetry, which I would have noticed by simply cracking the boo
A wonderful meditation on the colors and character of autumnal New England.
Dennis Noson
A beautifully done edition of one of Thoreau's later natural history essays... in praise and thanks for the phenomenon of New England's forest leaves turning passionate before the Fall.
Lachlan Pezet
"The trees are now repaying the earth with interest what they have taken from it. they are discounting. they are about to add a leaf's thickness to the depth of the soil. This is the beautiful way in which Nature gets her muck.....We are all richer for their decay."

A very strong contender for my desert Island book judging by how often I return to Thoreau's wonderful survey of the changing world.
This is a small book documenting the changes of the leaves to autumn colors. He took specific trees and or bushes and described the "bright tints in the order of which they present themselves". An interesting concept for a book. I didn't read this page for pages but read a little here and there. His descriptions made me feel as if the leaves were right in front of me.
Thoreau is one of my favorite authors to read or to read about his short life. I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction to the book written by Robert D. Richardson. Therein, I learned much about Thoreau's life that either I was previously unaware of, or had simply forgotten. Then, Thoreau's essay was delightfully descriptive. This is a repeat read for Fall.
The essay that introduces Thoreau's last magazine piece austutely shows how he comes to terms with his own death.

Interleaved art keeps you on the present as you read Robert Richardson's account of Thoreau's visionary synthesis.
Thoreau's eloquent and evocative elegy to the Autumn of life as it is manifested in a New England Autumn. Stunning and breathtaking. Thoreau at his best.
Remarkably description of fall foliage. Would probably ring more true reading on a porch swing surrounded by trees changing color.
Pablo Paz
Muy linda la descripción de los arces rojos
Beautiful. Perfect for October.
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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...
Walden Walden & Civil Disobedience Civil Disobedience and Other Essays (Collected Essays) Walking Walden and Other Writings

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“We cannot see anything until we are possessed with the idea of it, take it into our heads, - and then we can hardly see anything else.” 4 likes
“How many flutterings before they rest quietly in their graves! They that soared so loftily, how contentedly they return to dust again, and are laid low, resigned to lie and decay at the foot of the tree, and afford nourishment to new generations of their kind, as well as to flutter on high! They teach us how to die. One wonders if the time will ever come when men, with their boasted faith in immortality, will lie down as gracefully and as ripe,--with such an Indian-summer serenity will shed their bodies, as they do their hair and nails.” 2 likes
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