No Englishman did more in the nineteenth century to advance the literary reputation of Henry David Thoreau than Henry S. Salt. A biographer and literary critic as well as a remarkable reformer, Salt participated broadly in his era's movements for social change, abandoning his mastership at Eton in the 1880s to devote himself to causes including socialism, vegetarianism, animals' rights, conservation, and prison reform.In 1890 Salt published the initial version of Thoreau's Life. With the help of American friends, he revised the book and published it anew six years later. The present volume is the third version of the biography, completed in 1908 but never published in Salt's lifetime.Combining a concise narrative of Thoreau's life with a perceptive treatment of his ideas and writings, Salt's work stands as a penetrating study of Thoreau that stresses his distinctive individuality. Through an astute analysis of the text and a concise biography, the editors illustrate Salt's growth as a scholar and his changing views on Thoreau and Thoreau's philosophy.
"A beautifully written and very sympathetic short biography of Thoreau that all Thoreauvians should treasure... Salt was just the person to write about Thoreau. He was in complete sympathy with Thoreau's ideas, and he wrote about them and him beautifully." Thoreau Society Journal "For the newcomer to Thoreau, Salt provides a readable and sensitive introduction... It is good to see the definitive version of Salt's work finally published." George Trefgarne The Times (London) "Of all the biographers of Thoreau, Henry Salt best captures Thoreau's spirit." Walter Harding, author of The Days of Henry Thoreau