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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Book

Woodcraft

Neesmuck

2017-01-16

'That is me. That is why I sit here to-night with the north wind and sleet rattling the one window of my little den writing what I hope younger and stronger men will like to take into the woods with them, and read. Not that I am so very old. The youngsters are still not anxious to buck against the muzzleloader in off-hand shooting. But, in common with a thousand other old graybeards, I feel that the fire, the fervor, the steel, that once carried me over the trail from dawn until dark, is dulled and deadened within me.

We had our day of youth and May ;
We may have grown a trifle sober ;
But life may reach a wintry way,
And we are only in October.

Wherefore, let us be thankful that there are still thousands of cool, green nooks beside crystal springs, where the weary soul may hide for a time, away from debts, duns and deviltries, and a while commune with nature in her undress. ' - Woodcraft, c. 1888.

The sentiment motivating this book -- the romance of the woods as an escape from one's day job -- is somewhat new in human history, or at least, American history. You need fairly dense city populations to be able to create day-jobs isolated from nature.