Laura Dassow Walls (essay date 1995)
SOURCE: “A Plurality of Worlds,” in Seeing New Worlds: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Nature Science, University of Wisconsin Press, 1995, pp. 167-211.
[In the following excerpt, Walls surveys nineteenth-century theories about the plurality of worlds in the context of several notable non-fiction works of the time.]
We might try our lives by a thousand simple tests; as, for instance, that the same sun which ripens my beans illumines at once a system of earths like ours. If I had remembered this it would have prevented some mistakes.
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden
One of the...
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