John muir story of my boyhood and youth
The Story of My Boyhood and Youth by John MuirLike it? Like it a lot? Like it? Like it a lot?
Which will it be?
Some chapters are very good(4*).
Other chapters were good but not super special(3*).
Am I glad I read it? Yes, certainly. The guys early years are interesting, and he writes clearly and simply.
Do I think others interested in nature will enjoy reading this? Yes.
Do I think those interested in the life of a renown, early naturalist will enjoy this? Yes.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
I also think it is a great book to give to young people interested in nature. I want to get it for my son, and he is NOT so young anymore! Both he and my grandson will enjoy reading it.
John Muir (1838-1914) left Dunbar, Scotland, at the age of eleven. His fervently religious father picked up the family and moved them to the wilderness of Wisconsin. John’s early years in Dunbar, Scotland, are covered too. Flogging and fighting were the norm, in a way that is hard to comprehend today, but it did not hurt him, it made him strong.
In the woods and fields of Wisconsin, the nearest town being Portage, John, the oldest son, his father, his two-year older sister and his two-year younger brother set up house and farm. Then John’s mother, his oldest sister and his three youngest siblings followed. All had to be done from scratch, and John tells what this was like--what he enjoyed and what was downright hard, toiling work. He was not allowed to read books; as far as his father was concerned the Bible was the only book man needed! John reasoned with his father--to read the Bible some people need glasses, so learning about other sciences was equally important! Grudgingly, his father agreed that he could get up early if he wanted to read. This John did. Getting up at one in the morning gave him five hours of reading time, which led to the idea of inventing a machine that would wake a person up at a given time. John was a born inventor, making clocks, a thermometer, a barometer and eventually a mechanical device that rolled him out of bed at a given hour, automatically turned on the light and rolled a book out on to his desk! This, when he went to university in Madison. How he got himself there is told too. John Muir was not lazy; he was determined to achieve his goals. The book follows him until 1860 when he graduated from university.
Appreciation of and curiosity about mature drew John from the start. We see with his eyes what he sees, be it the beauty of fireflies or fall’s colorful leaves. We learn with him what he discovers about birds and flora and bugs. And the farm’s hogs and oxen and ponies and honey bees. He learns about them from observing, and he relates what he observes to us. There is a great story about a loon and the family tomcat. He had a pony that brought home the cows in the evening if he was himself delayed. Another pony is stolen by Indians. Discovery of nature, in all its aspects, flora and fauna, filled John’s life from his earliest years. John was way ahead of his time in understanding that animals are capable of thinking.
I was recommended to read this book before My First Summer in the Sierra. John Muir’s upbringing had to have been an important element in shaping who he came to be. To understand the adult, it is helpful to know of his youth and his early years are interesting!
I downloaded this from Librivox. It does not cost you a thing to listen to. For nothing you get a lot! It is narrated by Sue Anderson. She does a decent job for an untrained narrator. It sounds at times a little unprofessional, but I heard and understood every word clearly
Both the personal details of Muir’s childhood and what he tells us about domestic and wild animals and fauna I found fascinating. Don’t miss this.
The Story of My Boyhood and Youth by John Muir
John Muir. The first draft of this book was dictated to Mr. Edward H. The triple-spaced typescript ran to more than one thousand pages. Before publication, an abridged version appeared serially in The Atlantic Monthly no.
In this Book
Nature streaming into us, wooingly teaching, preaching her glorious living lessons, … we still The naturalist John Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland. When he was 11 years old, he moved to the United States with his family and lived on a Wisconsin farm, where he had to work hard for long hours. He would rise as early as one o'clock in the morning in order to have time to study. At the urging of friends, he took some inventions he had made to a fair in Madison, Wisconsin. This trip resulted in his attending the University of Wisconsin.