Thoreau's Walden first edition to headline sale at PBA Galleries

A first edition copy of Henry David Thoreau's Walden; Or, Life in the Woods is estimated to make $12,000-15,000 when it auctions at PBA Galleries on July 31.

The lot is one of only 2,000 copies of the book to be published in June 1854. Today it's regarded as one of the greatest works of American literature.  

Walden first edition
Thoreau's Walden was first published in a run of 2,000 copies in 1854


Thoreau spent just over two years living in a cabin in the woods surrounding Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, although the manuscript itself gestated for a period of around 10 years.

A noted transcendentalist, alongside other literary giants such as Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau believed that society saps the creativity and essence of human beings and that self-reliance is the key to happiness.

A copy of Mark Twain's The Innocents Abroad inscribed to his wife Olivia ("To Livy L. Clemens, With the love of S.L. Clemens") is estimated at $5,000-8,000.

The book covers Twain's experiences aboard the Quaker City, a US civil war-era steam ship, on which he travelled around the Mediterranean and into the Holy Land in 1867.

He met Olivia Clemens on the journey after befriending her brother and married her the following year. The book is only the second example inscribed to her to appear at auction in the past 30 years.

We have this pamphlet celebrating the Hudson River Steamboat, signed by Twain himself in 1907.  

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