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My Boyhood   By: (1837-1921)

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In John Burroughs' captivating memoir, My Boyhood, the renowned American nature writer takes readers on an enchanting journey through his formative years in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. With vivid and eloquent prose, Burroughs paints a nostalgic portrait of a bygone era, immersing us in the sights, sounds, and spirit of his beloved countryside during the mid-19th century.

The book opens with Burroughs' earliest memories, providing a glimpse into the simple yet idyllic lifestyle of rural America in the 1800s. From his encounters with wildlife to his adventures in the wilderness, each recollection is infused with a sense of wonder and discovery. Burroughs possesses a keen eye for detail, flawlessly capturing the beauty of nature and allowing readers to experience the landscape as he did.

One of the book's primary strengths is Burroughs' ability to blend personal anecdotes with insightful reflections on the natural world. Whether he's discussing his love for bird-watching or his fascination with geological formations, his observations are always astute and profound. His deep reverence for nature shines through every page, as he explores how his surroundings shaped his character and fostered his passion for the outdoors.

Moreover, My Boyhood is not just a tale of wilderness exploration but also a touching coming-of-age story. Burroughs describes the trials and tribulations of his youth with candor and vulnerability, allowing readers to empathize with his experiences. Through anecdotes about friendships, family dynamics, and his quest for knowledge, Burroughs crafts a narrative that is both intimate and universal, resonating with readers of all ages.

In terms of writing style, Burroughs' prose is elegant, evocative, and remarkably accessible. His vivid descriptions effortlessly transport readers to his enchanting world. Moreover, his keen sense of humor adds a delightful touch to the narrative, ensuring that even the most mundane aspects of his childhood are infused with wit and charm.

One minor drawback of My Boyhood is its occasional digressions, where the author delves into long-winded philosophical musings. While these moments provide interesting insights into Burroughs' intellectual growth, they can occasionally detract from the overall flow of the book. However, these instances are few and far between, and the majority of the memoir maintains a perfect balance between storytelling and introspection.

In conclusion, My Boyhood is an enchanting memoir that seamlessly combines a love letter to nature with a poignant coming-of-age tale. Burroughs' exquisite prose and genuine passion for the natural world make this book a delight to read. Whether you're an avid outdoors enthusiast or simply appreciate a beautifully written memoir, My Boyhood is sure to captivate and inspire.

First Page:

Tonya Allen, Eric Eldred, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team







In the beginning, at least, Father wrote these sketches of his boyhood and early farm life as a matter of self defense: I had made a determined attempt to write them and when I did this I was treading on what was to him more or less sacred ground, for as he once said in a letter to me, "You will be homesick; I know just how I felt when I left home forty three years ago. And I have been more or less homesick ever since. The love of the old hills and of Father and Mother is deep in the very foundations of my being." He had an intense love of his birthplace and cherished every memory of his boyhood and of his family and of the old farm high up on the side of Old Clump "the mountain out of whose loins I sprang" so that when I tried to write of him he felt it was time he took the matter in hand. The following pages are the result.



MY BOYHOOD By John Burroughs

MY FATHER By Julian Burroughs


Serene, I fold my hands and wait, Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea; I rave no more 'gainst Time or Fate, For lo! my own shall come to me... Continue reading book >>

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