Book Review: My Friend, My Friend

My Friend, My Friend

The Story of Thoreau’s Relationship With Emerson

By Harmon Smith

Copyright 1999

BR13207 3 volumes

When you get the chance to spend time with a favorite writer, to follow him around and observe his interactions with friends and family members, you have to take it, right?

And when someone hands you that favorite writer’s journal, and says, “Go on, take a peek, he won’t mind,” how can you resist?

I couldn’t.

I dove into My Friend, My Friend and found myself immediately swept into the hearts and minds of two of my favorite writers, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The pages turned and I learned about their writing, witnessed the unfolding of their friendship, and dreaded for the tale to end.

Factually rich and emotionally stirring, Harmon Smith draws readers into the intimate circle of Emerson and Thoreau, enabling us to follow their lives and personal interactions, to ride their ever-shifting currents of friendship and rivalry. We trace their private thoughts and secret desires, weep over the deaths of five year old Waldo Emerson, and beloved John Thoreau. And because they did not exist for themselves only, we are thrust into the events of their time– the religious controversies and sociopolitical uprisings of antebellum America–which shaped their thought, their lives and their relationship.

7 thoughts on “Book Review: My Friend, My Friend

  1. Joan–Many thanks for this book suggestion!  I will certainly add this book to my reading list.  On “Chapter-a-Day,” a half-hour radio program to which I listen on Wisconsin Public Radio, selections from Thoreau’s WALDEN were read during the prior week.

    Happy May, and happy reading!

    Alice and Willow

    1. Wonderful, Darling Alice, and if you have never read Walden, I hope you u will delight yourself there as well. Spending time with Thoreau has become a sweet and cherished revelation to me. Blessings and love to you and Willow *dancing hummingbirds**singing clouds**children embracing*

  2. Your introduction to your review — pulled me right in! Thank you for all you do and the light you share so generously with all of us. *hugging angels* *dancing mystics* *snow clad clouds*

    1. So so happy to have your hand in mine on this incredible journey, my darling Krishnapria, blessings and love to you *dancing children**winged willows**singing butterflies*

  3. I am adding this to my to-read list right away 🙂 Thank you Joan for the recommendation.

    1. You are so welcome, dear Pari, I’m delighted to know you are interested, and can’t wait to hear what you think about the book! Blessings for a beautiful day *flowering pages**dancing willows**wispy clouds*

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