Before The West, There Was The East, And It Was Wild

Posted by Jean-Yves on Mar 14, 2017

In 1842, while visiting the United States, Charles Dickens took a train northwest from Boston to the industrial town of Lowell, Mass. He wasn’t impressed by the scenery: “Mile after mile of stunted trees: Some hewn down by the axe, some blown down by the wind, some half fallen and resting on their neighbors, many mere logs half hidden in the swamp.”

Everywhere he looked, the English author saw signs of “decay, decomposition and neglect.” This is not the New England inscribed in popular memory, from the writings of the American Transcendentalists to the paintings of Grandma Moses or Norman Rockwell.

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