The Growth of Walden

In Revising Mythologies: The Composition of Thoreau’s Major Works, Stephen Adams and Donald Ross, Jr. printed a chart titled “Stages in the Growth of Walden” that showed the percentage of each chapter completed in each of Thoreau’s seven manuscript versions. (See Introduction.) The table and accompanying charts below use data extracted from the fluid-text TEI to display the percentage of passages in each chapter first written in each of versions A-G. It ignores passage length and thus does not compute total words added in each version as a percentage of Walden‘s total length in words. Nevertheless, it provides a rough picture of Walden‘s growth in passages that is quite close to, and perhaps a bit more readable than, the one published by Adams and Ross.

Data and Visualizations page
Written and Re-Written in Walden

In each chapter of Walden, what percentage of passages were first added in each of the seven versions?

Data above rendered as a bar chart

Same data rendered as a stacked area chart