The Maine Woods

The Maine Woods - Henry David Thoreau This is a very detailed account of the travels in 1846, 1853, and 1857 of Thoreau. What they ate, what they wore, where they slept, and how much items cost along the way are all recorded. There’s mention of intense cold of 40 to 50 Fahrenheit (which is above freezing, so I’m not sure what to make of that).
I’ve never had tea sweetened with molasses. Nor have I ever eaten moose horn. However, the oddest meal I came across in this book was as follows: “The Indians baked a loaf of flour bread in a spider on its edge before the fire for their breakfast…”
The pleasure of Thoreau’s adventure is destroyed during a moose hunt. Hunting for merely the satisfaction of killing is like shooting your neighbor’s horses and God is that neighbor — THAT is the lesson that Thoreau gifts to readers in the middle of this book. After that scene, he really “sees” the reality of where he is.
Some lessons are never learned and thus never cease to be relevant. One example in the book is when he comes to a place where there are two political parties mentioned. One is in favor of schools. The other, following the wishes of a priest, is opposed to schools because education could lead to “Indians” who would know how to manage their money.
Thoreau’s appreciation of “Indian” language is bold and rare.
I’ll end my review with a favorite (condensed) quote from the book:
“The Anglo-American… cannot converse with the spirit of the tree…”