Renowned as a pioneer of the new school of nature writing and among the most widely read authors of his time, John Burroughs has had a profound influence on our appreciation of nature. Signs and Seasons, originally published in 1886, provides an excellent introduction to the extensive work of one of America’s great writers. Because the essays were collected and arranged by Burroughs himself, they offer a synoptic view of his complex and many-sided genius. Signs and Seasons covers a wide range of Burroughs’s interests, including plants and animals, the wilderness, pastoral landscapes, and the methods and goals of the naturalist.
An authoritative new introduction by Jeff Walker makes Burroughs’s work relevant to the twenty-first century, not only through Burroughs’s excellent natural history writing but also through his beliefs about community, sustainability, and social justice. Additional notes give historical and scientific context for each essay and offer the reader fresh insight into his work. Walker’s intimate knowledge of the Hudson River valley, Riverby, and Slabsides, the areas about which Burroughs writes, reveals sympathy for, and understanding of, Burroughs’s work. This edition will be indispensable to the devotee of John Burroughs’s writing and to a new generation of environmental reader.
John Burroughs was the naturalist of the Catskills and friend and contemporary of John Muir.
Jeff Walker is an associate professor of geology and environmental studies at Vassar College. He lives in Hyde Park, New York.
5 x 7, 418 pages