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Thoreau on Cape Cod: His Journeys and the Lost Maps

Price: $49.00
Item: RB1415
Click here to read some excerpts
John Hessler reveals more on the lost maps in our exclusive interview Click here

The Thoreau that history nearly lost

We know him as the man who went to the woods, but Thoreau also journeyed to a more distant place where he could “stand and put all America behind him.” The land was Cape Cod, the experience was the sea, and he recounts his trip to infinity in that engaging Waldenesque way. Thoreau knew Champlain had been one of the first to map the Cape, and he had annotated copies of two Champlain maps from the 1600s. Until recently, they were lost to history. Thanks to the Library of Congress, we have reproduced them here with Thoreau's own notes and an account of their discovery. They create a new window into the early days of America and a brand new way to read Thoreau. For lovers of the sea and of the Cape, of maps and of America's history, this is a gift they'll treasure. Only from Levenger.

  • Gently abridged edition of Thoreau's Cape Cod, with important new material from the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division
  • High-resolution facsimiles of Thoreau's annotated Champlain maps of 1612 and 1632, plus his accompanying notes, printed in full color
  • Click the image bar to see the maps and notes
  • Maps and notes are folded loose in the book's back pocket so that readers can remove and study them
  • Library of Congress Senior Cartographic Librarian John Hessler, F.R.G.S., provides fascinating commentary on the discovery of the maps and Thoreau's little-known work in cartography
  • Original sketches of Cape Cod land and sea life by Hyannis artist and naturalist Mary Bowmar Richmond
  • Hardcover with Smythe-sewn binding for longevity
  • Text of ocean blue on a rich cream paper
  • Acid-free, archival-quality paper
  • Ribbon bookmark
  • 248 pages
  • 7 1/2 x 9
  • Printed in the USA
  • Not in the bookstores—only at Levenger
  • To view table of contents, please click here (PDF)

Why Steve loves this book
“ Read this and be transported to a time of infinite possibility for America. Who knew that Thoreau was also a mapmaker and a historian of America's beginnings? We're proud to bring you fascinating new scholarship on this beloved American figure.”

Thank you for doing good in the world of reading
When you purchase this Levenger Partnering for Good product, know that you're doing good in the world for readers. Through this program, we support the libraries, museums and other cherished institutions that nurture reading.
Thoreau on Cape Cod His Journeys and the Lo 4.9 5 8 8
A Gem! My daughter Elizabeth, born, raised and educated in Portland, Oregon, now lives with her family on Cape Cod. Since they are a Coast Guard family, they won't call Cape Cod home much longer. New duty stations await. When the "Late Summer" Levenger catalog arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago, you can well imagine the great excitement I felt when I saw that the Levenger Press edition of "On Cape Cod:His Journeys and the Lost Maps" by Henry David Thoreau was being offered for purchase. "What a perfect gift," I thought, "to help my daughter and her family call their years on the Cape to mind." I ordered it immediately. I now have the book and I will humbly offer my review of it. I will not attempt to review the content of the book, however. Many other scholars, far more learned than I, have already done that. Nor will I be so presumptuous to think that I can add something new to their work. Instead, I will give the interested reader my thoughts about the book itself. First of all, it should be noted that the book is a "gently abridged" edition of what was posthumously published in 1865 as "Cape Cod." The book does not suffer from this abridgement. Secondly, I must add that periodically throughout the book, one encounters illustrations artfully executed by Mary Bowmar Richmond. They add greatly to the book's beauty. Like Thoreau himself, Levenger Press was earth-friendly in preparing the book for printing. They chose "paper from a renewable and sustainable source" and the inks used were "soy-blended." The book was printed in the USA. Ensuring that the book will retain its quality and good appearance after years of use, the book is durably hard-bound. Throughout the book, Thoreau speaks lovingly, respectfully and endearingly about the natural beauty that surrounds him. He does not lament the hardships and misfortunes caused by natural forces, nor does he lose his good humor. The book is a gem. Don't miss it. Jim Dunn Bend, Oregon AC0075513465 August 16, 2014
Thoreau Excellent quality! I love reading Thoreau like this! Always pleased with the Levenger quality July 31, 2014
Exquisite! Capturing the "Spirit" of Thoreau This is an exquisite book in all respects: quality of paper, binding, and printing; layout of artistic illustrations throughout the text and quality reproductions of maps. Although I have not read much of Thoreau, this book has certainly inspired me to read all his works and to find out more about this extraordinary human being's perspectives on living, society and life itself. July 27, 2013
Loved this book Lovely quality, I especiallly enjoyed the feel of the pages, and the Cape Cod blue cover. Excellent quality and content not usually found these days. March 21, 2011
Quality and Class When I turn these pages, I feel soothed—the ancient maps, the drawings, the beautiful paper it’s printed on. This book has a quality befitting the subject matter. It’s true class. I’m amazed at how high the quality is when the price is so reasonable. What a treasure from the sea. Thank you, Levenger! February 28, 2011
Thoreau on Cape Cod This was a truly beautiful book. Living on Cape Cod during the summer and visiting for weeks in winter, I feel that this book resonated with me. I have wanted to order it for years. The problem for me was the price of the book. In retrospect, I still feel it was overpriced, but I was given a cash gift for the holidays and decided to splurge. I would recommend this as a gift book to anyone February 13, 2011
Behold, the printed book! Finally, a gift to be cherished...amazing to hold in my hands these incredible old, old maps that were once in Thoreau's hands. I am a true techno-addict and love my e-reader but Levenger Press produces such beautiful collector's pieces...substance, quality and art. Couture books but without the high price. Anticipating your next book products. November 19, 2010
Rediscovering Cape Cod As a Thoreau scholar I first have to admit that I am always skeptical about abridged editions, but the "gentle" abridgements have been done respectfully, and I would hope that readers will be encouraged to read more Thoreau. The book is beautiful! The map reproductions are such a wonderful addition that I feel like Thoreau is wth me as a guide. Living in a world where book production values have declined, it is reassuring to hold in my hand a book from a publisher that knows how a book should feel in your hand, how the words should sit on the page, how the illustrations should work with the words. It makes me feel that the fate of the printed book may not be as dire as we imagine. I encourage any book lover to add this to their shelves. It will not disappoint. And Cape Cod is an amazing book. Don't be fooled by its calm representation as a travelogue. Any book in which the narrator begins with a shipwreck and death, travels toward the light, and ends with the narrator standing with his back to everything he knows, transcends the genre. October 15, 2010
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