Excursions contains the complete texts of nine of Thoreau's most popular essays. These include Natural History of Massachusetts, his first essay to appear in The Dial (a quarterly periodical edited by Margaret Fuller), as well as other well known early works like A Winter Walk and The Landlord. Later works include his famous essays Walking, Autumnal Tints and Wild Apples, the last of which was based on a lecture he gave during the Concord Lyceum's 1859-1860 season and was published in the Atlantic Monthly after his death. *** Because Excursions is a chronological presentation of Thoreau's work, including early pieces as well as essays from his later life, it gives us a fascinating look at the development of one of America's greatest writers and thinkers. *** Thoreau had a tremendous influence on American literature and in the development of the study of natural history. He is considered one of America's foremost writers, both in terms of his writing style and because of the forward-looking views that his essays embody. *** This edition includes a biographical "sketch" of Thoreau by Ralph Waldo Emerson.