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10 thoughts on “Cape Cod

  1. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    My hat trick – my third review of the three classic naturalist books about Cape Cod The other two are The Outermost House by Henry Beston 1928 and The House on Nauset Marsh by Wyman Richardson – 1947 In the edition I am reviewing Beston wrote the introduction This is very much a naturalist book or in the old days natural history and a travelogue The environment landscape the sea sand dunes marshes fish and fowl An informative book to read but if you are looking for philosophical discourse like you find in Walden you won’t find it here The chapters are a series of essays Thoreau wrote and worked on over the years as he took four trips to Cape Cod usually with is companion the poet William Ellery Chapman Each trip was about a week taken between 1849 and 1855 Thoreau b 1817 died in 1862 when he was 44 and this book was compiled from his essays shortly after his deathI found the stories about economic change and landscape change the most informative For example Thoreau tells us that in the 1830’s there were 422 salt works often with pumps powered by windmills where sea water was evaporated to produce salt When he visited twenty years later they were almost all gone victims of cheaper salt mines from the west He uotes descriptions of the thick forest covering on the Cape written about by the Pilgrims and notes how those forests were mostly gone Whole areas like the tip of the Cape around Provincetown had become sand deserts even without trees in yards Only ornamental shrubs could survive in the shifting sands at that time The shape of the land – islands bays water passages changed literally from season to season and after big storms He notes how often hillsides had lost their soil and had become almost barren only supporting what the locals called ‘poverty grass’ He gives us environmental history lessons as when he tells us that in the 1600’s towns passed laws that each adult had to kill a dozen crows a year to prevent them from eating the meager crops It’s fascinating too to learn that the whole Cape was basically populated by people in isolation living in subsistence mode and relying on what they caught from the sea or grew on their farms Thoreau tried clams for the first time so apparently they weren’t popular yet with the Boston crowd They raked up seaweed for fertilizer Sheep once a mainstay were disappearing Towns assessed a ‘mackerel tax’ to support free schools and he gets a joke in about ‘taxing the school for schools’ He writes about the tent cities that were used for summer church campground meetings Like the wooden tent platforms that became the foundations for the ‘Gingerbread Houses’ on Martha’s Vineyard although that was after Thoreau’s time Thoreau interviews the inhabitants too – interviews them in a journalistic sense He doesn’t want to just chat he wants to know what they do where they came from how they survive He meets an oysterman lighthouse keepers and “wreckers” who gather driftwood for fuel and timber from the many shipwrecks Not to be confused with the British “wreckers” of the old days who caused shipwrecks by lighting fires to simulate lighthouses He talks with many fishermen and even with some “shore whalers” who drive small whales onto the land for slaughter Thoreau’s humor shows through often He makes fun of guidebooks that talk about ‘beautiful villages’ and ‘sublime views’ He writes “There are many Herring Rivers on the Cape; they will perhaps be numerous than herrings soon” He and his companion strain to count ships at sea and “sometimes we doubted if we were not counting our eyelashes” Not a big fan of the constant fish meals Thoreau writes “Better go without your dinner I thought than be thus everlastingly fishing for it like a cormorant” We get Thoreau’s take on organized religion from this passage ”the meeting house windows being open my meditations were interrupted by the noise of a preacher who shouted like a boatswain profaning the uiet atmosphere and who I fancied must have taken off his coat Few things could have been disgusting or disheartening I wished the tithing man would stop him” A good read And about that hat trick – maybe I’m not done I should look into John Hay’s book The Great Beach 1964 Photo of Provincetown and the tip of Cape Cod taken by an astronaut in the International Space Station from earthobservatorynasagov Cape Cod beach scene from whoieduThe author honored on a postage stamp issued in 2017 from ebaycom


  2. Chrissie Chrissie says:

    This book is based on three trips that Thoreau took to Cape Cod in Oct 1849 June 1850 and July 1855 The second trip he took alone the first and third with one companion He spent totally three weeks in Cape Cod He traveled the length of the peninsula along both the bay side and the Atlantic across the peninsula and ended in ProvincetownThe book was first published in 1865 compiled from essays in magazines There are lines of lyrical beauty to be found within the text However for the most part the prose is dry albeit informative Numbers specifying the uantity of a given bird fish or plant species the exact length of a vessel or the exact distances between places and objects often measured in rods is rather tedious Scientific details about flora and fauna historical information about the Cape’s inhabitants in the middle 1800s and in the past as well as information concerning the Cape’s discovery are the topics covered The writing does come alive occasionally when speaking of particular individuals whose acuaintance he enjoyed A lighthouse keeper is one example I came to the conclusion that Thoreau was out of his domain here on the windblown stormy and often bare of vegetation landscape of the Cape He doesn’t belong here He is out of his element This is reflected in how he speaks of what he sees and the people he meets You sense disdain He speaks knowledgeably but not about something he loves He praises what he finds pretty but often he criticizes He is a mainland New Englander at his root and one senses this The numerous lines of Latin are seldom translated Patrick Cullen narrates the audiobook The untranslated lines of French were deplorable Otherwise he is simple to follow and speaks slowly and clearly I have given his narration three stars It is goodThe Adventures of Henry Thoreau A Young Man's Unlikely Path to Walden Pond 4 stars by Michael SimsCape Cod 2 stars by Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau A Life by Laura Dassow Walls TBRSolid Seasons The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson TBR by Jeffrey S Cramer


  3. Alan Alan says:

    This includes Thoreau's funniest and his most plangent writing plangent early in The Shipwreck where he witnessed the fairly common wreck of a suare rigger from Europe this one from Ireland I do conflate this shipwreck with the one that took the life and the great MS on Garibaldi of Margaret Fuller That would of course have been later in the century Because the storm had shut down the Provincetown ferry from Boston Thoreau took a train to Cape Cod and on the way at Cohasset on the South Shore there was a shipwreck the St John from Galway Ireland with bodies washed ashore and awaiting relatives trying to identify them A touching resonant scene among Thoreau's finest writing I witnessed no signs of grief but there was a sober dispatch of business which was affecting On the other hand the Wellfleet Oysterman is hilarious Thoreau and his companion find a cottage willing to put them up for the night But not knowing their character the landlord with such chance guests locked them in their room This common practice was done When breakfast was prepared Thoreau observed the landlord spitting on the fire near the eggs; his companion thought it was nearer the oatmeal Each of course chose his preference according to their conflicting observations On the outer Cape wood could prove scarce occasionally an oar for a sheep railing Cedar fencing from Maine so expensive there was less sheepherding their fences reuiring four rails One man had shingled his entire house from a mast that had drifted up He inuired of a boy what he had in his dinner pail grapes There is occasional Transcendental claptrap as in The mariner who makes his port in Heaven seems to his friends on earth to be shipwrecked for they deem Boston Harbor the better place But this may be forgiven as his travelling companion was after all nephew of the great Unitarian preacher of the same name William Ellery Channing At a religious camp meeting two preachers man and sea Rev θάλασσα HDT I put in a little Greek now and then partly because it sounds so much like the sea Thoreau uotes the Collections of the MA Historical Society vol 8 1802 opposing the cant of beautiful towns beautiful only to a repentant misanthrope MA Historical The inhabitants in general are substantial livers that is HDT says they do NOT live like philosophers And it's amusing to see how HDT reacts to the houses so cherished and pricey now the Captains Houses with rooftop observation posts he calls them the modern euivalent of monstrosities Monstrous in its root sense too His amusing reflection on an Eastham law that young bachelors intending marriage should kill 12 blackbirdsFrom which I concluded that either many men were not married or many blackbirds WERE A Thoreau going botanist and Latin taxonomist he died from counting rings on a tree he tells wonderful local names for kelp oar weed tangle devil's apron sob weed ribbon weed Compare Latin classifications which fill his Journals


  4. David Lentz David Lentz says:

    In his day as pioneers ventured West to settle America it’s intriguing that as a non conformist Thoreau ventured East He views the shore of Cape Cod as a sort of neutral ground and an advantageous point for contemplating the world “There is naked Nature inhumanly sincere wasting no thought on man nibbling at the cliffy shore where gulls wheel amid the spray” For Thoreau and transcendentalists like Emerson the way to experience the core of life was intuitive and accessible through mindful immersion in Nature “I believe there is a subtle magnetism in Nature which if we unconsciously yield to it will direct us aright” Thoreau writes in Walking As he walks through Truro Thoreau points out that here was the limit of the Pilgrims’ journey up the Cape from Provincetown when seeking a place for settlement “We went to see the Ocean and that is probably the best place of all our coast to go to” He takes shelter overnight in Highland Lighthouse shown on the front cover “Over this bare Highland the wind has full sweep You must hold on to the lighthouse to prevent being blown into the Atlantic If you would feel the full force of a tempest take up your residence on the top of Mount Washington or at the Highland Light in Truro” he writes In 1794 ships were wrecked on the eastern shore of Truro than anywhere else on The Cape Surely the light house keeper has a responsible if an easy office When his lamp goes out he goes out” Provincetown in Thoreau’s day was located on one of the world’s major shipping lanes There are the cod and mackerel fleets of 1500 vessels of which 350 could be counted in the harbor at a time Thoreau paints a pretty picture “This was the very day one would have chosen to sit upon a hill overlooking sea and land and muse there The mackerel fleet was rapidly taking its departure one schooner after another and standing round the Cape like fowls leaving their roosts in the morning to disperse themselves in distant fields” On the first morning of his arrival at P’town “they told me that a vessel had lately come in from the Banks with forty four thousand codfish Timothy Dwight says that just before he arrived at Provincetown ‘a schooner had come in from the Great Bank with fifty six thousand fish almost one thousand five hundred uintals taken in a single voyage; the main deck being on her return eight inches under water in calm weather’ The salt cod were so prolific drying in Provincetown that Thoreau first mistook them for cords of wood stacked all over town He alludes to lobster fishing from small boats for the markets in New York In Provincetown he witnessed the growth of farming on “Cranberry Meadows” on an extensive scale After spending his days sauntering through the length and breadth of Cape Cod Thoreau leaves Provincetown by ship through Massachusetts Bay for Boston Harbor and 18 miles west to Concord He seems incapable of rendering a perfect picture of his experiences in his accounting of Cape Cod to do it justice “We often love to think now of the life of men on beaches at least in midsummer when the weather is serene; their sunny lives on the sand amid the beach grass and the bayberries their companion a cow their wealth a jag of driftwood or a few beach plums and their music the surf and the peep of the beach bird” If you're wondering when is the best time of year to visit The Cape Thoreau advised that it's in October “A storm in the fall or winter is the time to visit it; a light house or a fisherman's hut the true hotel A man may stand there and put all America behind him”


  5. robin friedman robin friedman says:

    A Cape Cod Walk With ThoreauThoreau visited Cape Cod in 1849 1850 and 1853 These trips formed the basis for a series of essays several of which Thoreau published in magazines After Thoreau's death the essays were gathered together and published as Cape Cod in 1865Thoreau's Cape Cod is different in tone in theme from his earlier books The tone is leisurely and light Instead of solitude or the wild woods the picture that remains with me from this book is that of a long walk or as Thoreau puts it a ramble through the sand and dunes of Cape Cod The book is picturesue full of humor and wry observation Thoreau unforgettably describes the ocean in its storms vicissitudes and moments of peace the fish and the fishermen the sands birds plants and lighthouses of Cape Cod and the people I have visited portions of the Massachusetts coast but I have never been to Cape Cod Thoreau took me there in his bookThe book is arranged into ten chapters It opens with a description of the shipwreck of the St John on a rock off the Cape Thoreau then describes a ride by coach across the Cape But the heart of the book lies in the following chapters in which Thoreau with a companion walks the 30 mile beach from Nauset Harbor to Provincetown with many stops and diversions along the way I felt the salt air and saw the fishermen and the sandy beach as I walked with ThoreauThe most vivid characterization in the book is in the chapter The Wellfleet Oysterman as Thoreau describes a grizzled taciturn and ancient native of Cape Cod and his family who offer him hospitality for the night Another memorable chapter involves the description of the Highland Lighthouse and its keeper The stops with the Oysterman and the Lighthouse punctuate Thoreau's long walks through the day over the beach and his meditations about and descriptions of what he finds thereThoreau's walk ended at Provincetown on the northernmost portion of Cape Cod with its wood walkway shanty houses and ever present scenes of fishermen boats and drying fish Thoreau offers what I found an affectionate portrait of these hardy fishermen and their families Following a description of what he found at Provincetown Thoreau offers a great deal of historical background on the exploration of the Cape from the Pilgrims reaching back to earlier French Icelandic and English explorersThoreau's Cape Cod is a worthy companion to his books describing his experiences inland on Walden Pond and on the rivers and woods of New England and Maine It is beautifully written with unforgettable descriptive passages It made me want to get up and go from my life in the city and over 150 years after Thoreau wrote wander and walk for myself along the dunes and sands of Cape CodRobin Friedman


  6. Feliks Feliks says:

    Assuredly worth adding to one's Thoreau librarysome fine fun sea swept writing here If you want to know what it felt like to walk along the shore of Cape Cod in the 1800s and see everything that Thoreau saw this is the book for you


  7. Lauren Lauren says:

    Henry David Thoreau’s “Cape Cod” reads much like a traditional travel book than most of his work and I found it uite accessible even entertaining for that reason While I don’t think that “Cape Cod” reaches the philosophical depth of “Walden” or even “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers” it is full of powerful and stunning passages Perhaps most emotionally intense are Thoreau’s descriptions of the shipwreck in the opening chapter He contemplates the smallness of human endeavors against nature’s power and the disturbing eagerness of various people on shore to see the bodies washed up from the wreck Thoreau writes of the shipwreck’s victims that they “were coming to the New World as Columbus and the Pilgrims did they were within a mile of its shores; but before they could reach it they emigrated to a newer world than ever Columbus dreamed of it has not yet been discovered by science not merely mariners’ tales and some paltry drift wood and sea weed but a continual drift and instinct toward all our shores I saw their empty hulks that came to land; but they themselves meanwhile were cast upon some shore yet further west toward which we are all tending and which we shall reach at last it may be through storm and darkness as they did” 8 I found these scenes especially moving because so many label Thoreau as uncompassionate and cold They think that he wanted to remove himself from society which is entirely false Rather in seeking solitude he hoped to meditate on how better to participate in society while maintaining his own moral standards and ideas As evidenced in “Cape Cod” Thoreau was deeply shaken by the sight of the shipwreck victims and it was his compassion for them that caused this meditation on what he saw as the ultimate destiny of humankind a higher calling to some unknown beyond our mortal livesThough “Cape Cod” opens with great emotional intensity it does not remain so dark throughout There are even humorous passages and anecdotes about Thoreau’s various trips to the Cape The Wellfleet Oysterman he meets is especially memorable and entertaining Thoreau seemed “real” to me in reading this novel than he sometimes does in his other work He details the specifics of his trip here than in his other philosophical travel accounts like “The Maine Woods” and “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers” His inclusion of a variety of day to day events like the ubiuity of Cape sand in his shoes uite familiar to anyone who has visited the Cape and even getting “uite sick” from eating a supposedly poisonous part of an oyster poor Henry make this feel like a less lofty personal version of Thoreau Certainly in reading a book like this some of Thoreau’s supposed coldness is dispelled One of my favorite “mundane” passages in the book is the following when Thoreau describes staying the night at the Highland lighthouse “The keeper entertained us handsomely in his solitary little ocean house The light house lamps a few feet distant shone full into my chamber and made it as bright as day so I knew exactly how the Highland Light bore all that night and I was in no danger of being wrecked Unlike the last this was as still as a summer night I thought as I lay there half awake and half asleep looking upward through the window at the lights above my head how many sleepless eyes from far out on the Ocean stream mariners of all nations spinning their yarns through the various watches of the night were directed toward my couch” 75 As with much of Thoreau’s writings I can’t put my finger on exactly why this passage is so beautiful or why I kept turning back to and re reading it but it stays in my mind as one of my favorite of the book and of Thoreau’s writing Perhaps it is because of the transcendent no pun intended moment of connection that he feels falling asleep at the lighthouse to the lives of countless people whom he will never meet but who rely on that light to guide them safely to portAlong with the human Henry Thoreau that emerges in the pages of “Cape Cod” readers are treated to Thoreau’s incredible ability to turn ruminations on nature into an opportunity to learn about humankind In one of my favorite passages of Thoreau yet he describes finding a bottle that had washed ashore on the beach “half buried in the wet sand covered with barnacles but stopped right and half full of red ale which still smacked of juniper all that remained I fancied from the wreck of a rowdy world that great salt sea on the one hand and this little sea of ale on the other preserving their separate characters What if it could tell us its adventures over countless ocean waves Man would not be man through such ordeals as it had passed But as I poured it slowly out on to the sand it seemed to me that man himself was like a half emptied bottle of pale ale which Time had drunk so far yet stopped tight for a while and drifting about in the ocean of circumstances; but destined erelong to mingle with the surrounding waves or be spilled amid the sands of a distant shore” 51 In this passage Thoreau connects the concrete events of a bottle washed ashore on the beach to his philosophy that one must always struggle to maintain individual against a conformist majority His ability to see the profound in thoroughly mundane experiences is one of my favorite aspects of his writing and passages like this one are what elevate “Cape Cod” from the rank of travel book merely Finally Thoreau spends a great deal of time writing about the ocean in “Cape Cod” and reconciling it with his understanding of nature overall This sea capable of wrecking ships against its shores is certainly at odds with the serene waters of Henry’s familiar Walden Pond It seems aligned with the frightening yet awe inspiring wilderness of “The Maine Woods” Thoreau writes that “The sea shore is a sort of neutral ground a most advantageous point from which to contemplate this world It is even a trivial place The waves forever rolling to the land are too far travelled and untameable to be familiar It is a wild rank place and there is no flattery in it a vast morgue where famished dogs may range in packs and crows come daily to glean the pittance which the tide leaves them The carcasses of men and beasts together lie stately up upon its shelf rotting and bleaching in the sun and waves and each tide turns them in their beds and tucks fresh sand under them There is naked Nature inhumanly sincere wasting no thought on man nibbling at the cliffy shore where gulls wheel amid the spray” 79 Though the ocean is vast and frightening its power is invigorating to Thoreau who loves the untameable aspect of it He contemplates this in another passage as well writing “I think that Cape Cod was never wild than now We do not associate the idea of antiuity with the ocean nor wonder how it looked a thousand years ago as we do of the land for it was eually wild and unfathomable always The aspect of the shore only has changed The ocean is a wilderness reaching round the globe wilder than a Bengal jungle and fuller of monsters washing the very wharves of our cities and the gardens of our sea side residences” 80 Central to Thoreau’s philosophy is his conception of the unknown of wild and unknowable nature He celebrates exploration throughout the book writing that “It was a poetic recreation to watch those distant sails steering for half fabulous ports whose very names are a mysterious music to our ears It is remarkable that men do not sail the sea with expectation Nothing memorable was ever accomplished in a prosaic mood The heroes and discoverers have found true than was previously believed only when they were expecting and dreaming of something than their contemporaries dreamed of or even themselves discovered that is when they were in a frame of mind fitted to behold the truth” 53 Thus in Thoreau’s mind it is not sufficient to set out only on a literal exploration voyage If one does this he or she will discover only the material Rather Thoreau believes we must put ourselves in a frame of mind to explore ourselves as well as the world around us to discover our own truths The unknown is not frightening to Thoreau as it is to other writers Rather it represents potential for great discovery During his lifetime the West was uickly being settled and that frontier was vanishing In “Cape Cod” Thoreau seems to turn to the ocean as a place that has forever been wild and “unfathomable” For him it is necessary in a spiritual way for there to always exist greater heights yet unvisited greater depths yet unfathomed


  8. Duffy Pratt Duffy Pratt says:

    I think I might not be cut out for travelnature books Thoreau's writing is brilliant and having grown up on Long Island I love the beach and ocean So this should be a very good fit for me And yet I found it sometimes inspiring and at other times a bit of a choreI'd like to think that the repetitions in the book are meant to echo the rolling and crashing of the waves But instead I tend to think that the book is just not as tight as it could have been and is just somewhat repetitive There are some great things in here the Shipwreck the description of the Lighthouse and the Oysterman come immediately to mind And I'm impressed at how much walking Thoreau did and how much he got out of his walks It makes me think that there's something to the meditative aspect of long walks But that doesn't mean I want to read about every detail even when the writing is brilliantOne thing that comes across pretty strongly is how much louder our world is than Thoreau's was He constantly impresses the reader with the roar of the surf I've lived by the ocean and I don't often find it a roar at all Usually its uite soothing Of course I've also lived in apartments just above Broadway in New York and in other cities And we now live with constant noise and music so the presence of the ocean noise doesn't interrupt silence any We don't have that much uiet time in our lives at all any and most people shun silence For a naturalist like Thoreau my guess is that silence was the norm and the incessant sound of the ocean made a big impression on himAt the close of the book Thoreau dismisses barrier beaches as being nothing than a sandbar The barrier beaches are what I grew up with The Long Island beaches the Jersey shore Assateague Island the Outer Banks I love them all and I can't abide someone dismissing them Think of an island that continually gets wiped out at one side by the surf and renewed at the other end an island where the land is never sure even though the island persists And then think that an ecosystem grew up to thrive in just such an environment with all sorts of life specifically adapted to just this kind of ceaseless change And Thoreau simply dismisses this different wonder I guess because its not his native Massachusetts or because his long walks hadn't really taken him there I'm actually a bit surprised at this kind of provincialism from himThe other laugh I had at Thoreau's expense is his prediction at the end of the book that Cape Cod would never become a fashionable resort area Oh if the Kennedy's had only knownI liked this considerably than A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers which felt like several months but nowhere as near as much as Walden My guess is if there were no TV if I hadn't grown up near the beach and if this were the only way to vicariously experience it I would be much impressed with this book As it is I found the writing remarkable the subject matter intrinsically interesting but the book as a whole rather dull


  9. Schuyler Wallace Schuyler Wallace says:

    Henry David Thoreau 1817 1862 is probably best known for “Walden” and “Civil Disobedience” Neither has the readability of “Cape Cod” one of the accounts he wrote of his extensive travels He was a great travel writer eager to describe the places he visited using a relaxed tone with lighter philosophical inclination than that used in his controversial essays As an essayist he was relentless as an advocate for the discovering of life’s true necessities He was a lifelong abolitionist and champion of civil disobedience Some described him as an anarchist although he seemed to favor the improvement of government rather than the destruction of it While either sitting in prison or residing in solitude on Walden Pond his writings were heavy with transcendental idealistic musings on “the meanness of the world” Not so much with his travel tales that seemed to lighten his countenanceAlways known for his pointed satire and cunning wit Thoreau seemed to bring them forward easily as he rambled around A Thoreau biographer Walter Harding called “Cape Cod” his “sunniest and happiest book It bubbles over with jokes puns tall tales and genial good humor” That might be stretching it a bit but there’s no doubt that the book is pleasant to read if a bit wordy After Thoreau left Walden Pond in 1847 he became increasingly interested in natural history and the environment and began writing about them in his travels and expeditions His love of flora and fauna sometimes dominated his writing providing the reader with great skimming opportunities to survive the redundancyThe walks he recorded in “Cape Cod” were compilations of four treks he took covering most of Cape Cod’s towns His observations are full of descriptions of the countryside from the seashore to the marshes plains scrubby trees and fields of the Cape’s inner reaches His encounters with a shipwreck in which many people were killed an educational encounter with an oysterman and a riveting description of a lighthouse are informative and highly readableI noticed an oddity about his writing Enthusiastic travel writers are heavy into the food they encounter as they wander Thoreau tended to ignore the subject Although he was not a strict vegetarian meat was low in his priorities because of his perception that it was unclean and he seemed to subsist on little but air as he trekked around At one point he mentioned that a clam and a couple of crackers would make a fine dinnerHis writing received widespread praise in later years but also received some pointed criticism from some of his well known contemporaries Luminaries such as Robert Lewis Stevenson John Greenleaf Whittier and Nathaniel Hawthorne all took their shots at him calling him unmanly a skulker and a “woodchuck” Thoreau answered by invoking the idea that every man needs to consider the scope of his own life and not worry about what he has heard of othersThere was a good deal of satisfaction for me in the reading of “Cape Cod” Thoreau’s ideas are thought provoking his vistas are well formed and he is after all considered a literary icon I feel much intelligent and well read after completing “Cape Cod”


  10. Mack Clair Mack Clair says:

    Do you enjoy 19th century wordplay? Do you speak Latin French and Ancient Greek fluently? Do you understand references to obscure mythological figures? Do you know the scientific names of flora found throughout New England? Do you enjoy measuring uantities in unconventional units like 30 rods and 60 bushels? Do you feel smugly superior to your fellow man? If your answers to all of these uestions were an uneuivocal YES then you may enjoy reading Cape Cod by HDTI remember reading Thoreau's Walden during high school and not enjoying it Thinking I had matured and could now better relate to his elevated style of writing I revisited him 10 years later to find my initial assessment correct and my later assessment flawed this is the style of joke he makes all throughout Cape Cod He reads as a man writing with little connection to the people or land that he writes about only comparing what he sees to his personal standard of beauty He finds no comfort in a warm sunny day on the beach instead enjoying a cold dreary afternoon following a storm He shuns the towns of the Cape to tell us about the seagulls he saw over the nearest sand dune He dredges up ancient tomes of Pilgrim history THAT HE APPARENTLY BROUGHT WITH HIM ON HIS TRIPS THAT WERE SUPPOSED TO BE HIS VACATION to tell us about the ministers of olde and make jokes about whether they were ugly or had bad breath Truly this man appears delusional from a modern standpoint and perhaps an antiuated one as wellThere are certainly worthwhile passages contained within the whole As someone with a connection to Cape Cod it really was fascinating to take a look back at where the peninsula was 170 years ago I enjoyed his discussions of the landscape the inhabitants the fishing fleets etc but could generally do without the tangents If you absolutely HAVE to read this book my advice Skip ahead a page if you get bored or he starts speaking in a foreign language for than one word


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Cape Cod ➟ [Epub] ❤ Cape Cod By Henry David Thoreau ➩ – Thomashillier.co.uk Thoreau's classic account of his meditative beach combing walking trips to Cape Cod in the early 1850s reflecting on the elemental forces of the sea Cape Cod chronicles Henry David Thoreau’s journey Thoreau's classic account of his meditative beach combing walking trips to Cape Cod in the early s reflecting on the elemental forces of the sea Cape Cod chronicles Henry David Thoreau’s journey of discovery along this evocative stretch of Massachusetts coastline during which time he came to understand the complex relationship between the sea and the shore He spent his nights in lighthouses in fishing huts and on isolated farms He passed his days wandering the beaches where he observed the wide variety of life and death offered up by the ocean Through these observations Thoreau discovered that the only way to truly know the sea—its depth its wildness and the natural life it contained—was to study it from the shore Like his most famous work Walden Cape Cod is full of Thoreau’s uniue perceptions and precise descriptions But it is also full of his own joy and wonder at having stumbled across a new frontier so close to home where a man may stand and “put all America behind him” Part of the Penguin Nature Library Series Editor Edward Hoagland With an Introduction by Paul Theroux.

  • paper
  • 319 pages
  • Cape Cod
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • English
  • 10 February 2014
  • 9780140170023

About the Author: Henry David Thoreau

Emerson Thoreau lived the life of simplicity he advocated in his writings His two year experience in a hut in Walden on land owned by.