Walden Criticism

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Walden was widely reviewed when it first appeared. This attention was due not to Thoreau's reputation (he had only one other published book, and it had not sold well) but to his publisher's energetic promotion of the book and to the support of Thoreau's well-known friend Emerson. Many publications printed excerpts of Walden to herald its arrival.

Most reviews were positive. "It is a strikingly original, singular, and most interesting work," wrote a reviewer in the Salem Register. The Lowell Journal and Courier noted, "The press all over the country have given the most flattering notices of it" and predicted, "without doubt it will command a very extensive sale. It surely deserves it."

Deserving or not, the book did not sell well. About seven hundred fifty copies were sold in the first year after publication. And not all notices were positive. A reviewer for the Boston Daily Journal...

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Walden from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.