series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of
- New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
- Biographies of the authors
- Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
- Footnotes and endnotes
- Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
- Comments by other famous authors
- Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
- Bibliographies for further reading
- Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics
pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
Henry David Thoreau built his small hut on the shore of Walden Pond in 1845. For the next two years he lived there as simply as possible, seeking “the essential facts of life” and learning to eliminate the unnecessary details—material and spiritual—that intrude upon human happiness. He described his experiences in Walden
, using vivid, forceful prose that transforms his reflections on nature into richly evocative metaphors to live by. George Eliot’s review of Walden
singles out qualities that have attracted readers for generations, namely “a deep poetic sensibility,” as well as Thoreau’s own “refined [and] hardy mind.” In a world obsessed with technology and luxury, Walden
seems more relevant today than ever.
After being imprisoned for refusing to pay Concord’s poll tax, Thoreau recounted his experience in an 1848 lecture, “The Rights and Duties of the Individual in Relation to Government.” The speech, hardly noticed in Thoreau’s lifetime, was later published as “Civil Disobedience.” Today it is widely considered the single most important essay concerning the incumbent duties of American citizens and has inspired major civil movements around the world.