Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1884.
First edition. Double-page map. [ii, ad], v, [i], 382 pp., + 16 pp. catalogue. 1 vols. 8vo. Inscribed by the Editor. Original green bevelled cloth, rubbed at extremities. Bookplate. In half blue morocco slipcase and chemise Borst A9.1.a; BAL 20127: for Theo Brown, cf. Theo Brown and Henry Thoreau (Thoreau Society Booklet 23), 1968. Item #320722
Inscribed on the first blank, "Mrs. Theo. Brown, with the affectionate regards of H. G. O. Blake, Worcester, June 5, 1884."
Harrison Gray Otis Blake (1816-1898) was a close friend and disciple of Thoreau. He would later edit his friend’s journals for posthumous publication. “Having shielded Thoreau's enormous manuscript journal from the publishing designs of several aspirants, [Throeau’s sister] Sophia at her death in 1876 bequeathed those notebooks and extensive additional papers to Blake, whom she regarded as the most loyal and sympathetic of Thoreau's friends. Quickly Blake decided how to present portions of the journal to readers, selecting passages from the same day of different years for a composite calendar of Thoreau's natural history observations” (ANB). Blake published the edited journals over several years as Early Spring in Massachusetts, Summer (the present volume), Winter, and Autumn, as well as Thoreau's Thoughts, containing extracts from earlier works. Blake “helped advance Thoreau’s reputation in the late nineteenth century and enabled consideration of Thoreau as naturalist” (ANB). Sarah Brown was the widow of Theophilus Brown (1811-1879), a Worcester tailor and “brilliant conversationalist” (ANB) whose humour and charm attracted the city’s intellectuals to his shop and earned him the nickname “the wit of Worcester.” Brown met Thoreau through their mutual friend, H.G.O. Blake. “…Thoreau’s visits to the Brown household became the highlights of the family’s life. Brown often accompanied Blake on visits to Concord and in 1858 the three friends, along with Edward Hoar of Concord, made an extensive visit to the White Mountains” (Theo Brown and Henry Thoreau). Sarah published her husband’s letters after his death. Borst states that Summer was printed in May, 1884 and announced in May 1884 in the Atlantic Monthly, while Blanck puts the publication date as June 4. DLC copy also dated June 5, 1884. The earliest dated copy cited in Borst is, like this copy, June 5.
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