top of page


by Henry David Thoreau

Edited by William Ellery Channing and Sophia Thoreau

First Edition, First Printing, 1864

1,650 copies printed. Into the back of a select few of these, Ticknor and Fields bound a 24 page catalog advertising other books. This book contains that catalog at the back. (BAL 20113)


The handwritten signature of John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) is pasted into the front of this book. Alas, the reason for this is unknown.... could this copy have belonged to Whittier who was an abolitionist, poet, and contemporary of Thoreau? Or was it pasted in by a collector? 'Tis a mystery, but a special one.


Condition / Notes:

In good/very good condition, this First Edition of THE MAINE WOODS was printed two years the 1862 death of Thoreau. Bound in original purple PD cloth with chocolate endpapers at front and back. The cover and back are in good/very good condition with minor bumping at the corners, and one small bulging spot near top of front cover (please see closeup). The spine has sun-faded to brown. Gold gilt on spine remains in very good, crisp, clean and readable condition. Small tear in cloth at the top of the spine likely from being pulled off a shelf (see closeup photo). A few black spots on spine near gold gilt flourish (see photo).


Binding is good and secure. Small cracking in binding noted between pages 238 and 239. Appears cosmetic and does not alter structure.


Very minimal foxing in places throughout.  Overall, this is a lovely first edition of Henry David Thoreau’s THE MAINE WOODS, with the uniqueness of John Greenleaf Whittier’s signature pasted inside.



Over a period of three years, Thoreau made three trips to the largely unexplored woods of Maine.  The Maine Woods was the second volume collected from his writings after Thoreau’s death. Of the material which composed it, the first two divisions were already in print. “Ktaadn and the Maine Woods” was the title of a paper printed in 1848 in The Union Magazine, and “Chesuncook” was published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1858. The book was edited by his friend William Ellery Channing.

The Maine Woods, by Henry David Thoreau

    bottom of page