Monday, August 09, 2004

"Walden” published. Elder-berries. Waxwork yellowing.

-from Thoreau's Journal: August 9, 1854.

"Walden" is 150 years old today. A little publication history from Henry David Thoreau by Kevin Mac Donnell

The first of the nearly two hundred editions of Walden that have been printed was officially published on August 9, 1854 in an edition of 2,000 copies. The publication price was one dollar. There was only one printing, and although the publication date was August 9th, just over 400 copies had been sold by that date, including shipments of 25 copies each to six different Boston area booksellers, a shipment to the New York bookseller, O. A. Roorbach, who bought 104 copies (the largest single order placed) and a single copy to the Unitarian minister W. R. Alger of Boston, who strolled into the Old Corner bookstore on August 1st and bought the first copy sold.

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