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Henry David Thoreau


"If a man does not keep pace with his companions perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."-Henry David Thoreau

"He is a keen and delicate observer of nature - a genuine observer - which, I suspect, is almost as rare a character as even an original poet; and Nature, in return for his love, seems to adopt him as her especial child, and shows him secrets which few others are allowed to witness."-Nathaniel Hawthorne, from his journal, September 1, 1842

Born in Concord, MA, on July 12, 1817, Concord's most famous native son was a quintessentially American essayist and naturalist. He graduated from Harvard College at age 20 and worked briefly in the Thoreau (pronounced like "thorough," with the accent on the first syllable) family's pencil factory before taking up life as a teacher. With his brother John, he established a school in Concord based on Transcendentalism, a philosophy he learned from Concord friend and neighbor Ralph Waldo Emerson. When John died of lockjaw in 1842, Thoreau closed the school and moved in with Emerson, working as his handyman. With Emerson's encouragement, he continued to keep a journal and published a few pieces in the Dial, a Transcendentalist journal.

In 1845, Thoreau built himself a one-room cabin on Walden Pond where he set out to "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life." He lived in the cabin on and off for two years, faithfully recording the experience in his journal. Seven years later, he would publish Walden; or Life in the Woods, a collection of essays based on his journal and describing his personal philosophy of self-sufficiency and antimaterialism. An ardent abolitionist and staunch defender of John Brown, during his stay on Walden Pond, Thoreau was arrested and jailed for one night for failing to pay his poll tax, which he did to protest slavery and the government's "imperialist" Mexican-American war. That experience would become the basis for his essay "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience."

In the early 1850s, he moved back to his family home in Concord, working again in the family pencil business and as a surveyor, an outdoor job that would provide the basis for numerous essays and publications on natural history, ecology, and man's place in nature. In 1860, while working outdoors he caught a cold that quickly turned into bronchitis. Already suffering from tuberculosis (from which his older sister Helen had apparently died in 1849), his health steadily deteriorated, and on May 6, 1862, shy of his forty-fifth birthday, he died at home in Concord. He is buried on Author's Ridge next to the graves of Emerson, Alcott, and Hawthorne in Concord's Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.


Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind Cover Image
By Robert D. Richardson, Barry Moser (Illustrator), Barry Moser (Designed by)
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ISBN: 9780520063464
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Published: University of California Press - January 21st, 1988

Walden Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780395720424
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Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - September 1st, 1995

Walden Cover Image
$8.95
ISBN: 9780691014647
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Published: Princeton University Press - June 1st, 1989

Walden and Other Writings (Modern Library Classics) Cover Image
By Henry David Thoreau, Brooks Atkinson (Editor), Ralph Waldo Emerson (Introduction by)
$12.00
ISBN: 9780679783343
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Published: Modern Library - November 14th, 2000

Wild Fruits: Thoreau's Rediscovered Last Manuscript Cover Image
By Henry D. Thoreau, Bradley P. Dean (Editor), Abigail Rorer (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9780393321159
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 17th, 2001

A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (Dover Thrift Editions) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780486419329
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Published: Dover Publications - November 9th, 2001

The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Volume 1: Journal, Volume 1: 1837-1844. Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780691063614
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Published: Princeton University Press - October 21st, 1981

The Writings of Henry David Thoreau: Journal, Vol. 1: 1837-1844

Despite the wide recognition of Thoreau's importance and world wide reputation, no complete and authoritative texts of his works, edited according to the most advanced principles of textual scholarship, existed prior to this series. The Writings include previously unpublished works as well as Thoreau's best known titles.


The Days of Henry Thoreau: A Biography Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780691024790
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Published: Princeton University Press - January 1st, 1993

Walden (Everyman Paperback) Cover Image
$9.95
ISBN: 9780460876353
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Published: Everyman Paperbacks - April 15th, 1995

Cape Cod Cover Image
By Henry David Thoreau, Joseph J. Moldenhauer (Editor), Robert Pinsky (Introduction by)
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ISBN: 9780691000763
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Published: Princeton University Press - August 1st, 1993

Civil Disobedience, and Other Essays (Dover Thrift Editions) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780486275635
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Published: Dover Publications - May 20th, 1993

The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Volume 2: Journal, Volume 2: 1842-1848. (His the Writings of Henry D. Thoreau #2) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780691061863
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Published: Princeton University Press - September 21st, 1984

The Writings of Henry David Thoreau: Journal, Vol. 2: 1842-1848

Despite the wide recognition of Thoreau's importance and world wide reputation, no complete and authoritative texts of his works, edited according to the most advanced principles of textual scholarship, existed prior to this series. The Writings include previously unpublished works as well as Thoreau's best known titles.


The Maine Woods (Penguin Nature Classics) Cover Image
By Henry David Thoreau, Edward Hoagland (Introduction by)
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ISBN: 9780140170139
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Published: Penguin Books - September 1st, 1988

The Journal of Thoreau, Vol. 2 Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780486203133
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Published: Dover Publications -

The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Volume 3: Journal, Volume 3: 1848-1851. Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780691065335
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Published: Princeton University Press - February 21st, 1991

The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Volume 4: Journal, Volume 4: 1851-1852. Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780691065359
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Published: Princeton University Press - October 11th, 1992

The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Volume 6: Journal, Volume 6: 1853 (Writings of Henry D. Thoreau) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780691065373
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Published: Princeton University Press - October 8th, 2000

The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Volume 8: Journal, Volume 8: 1854. (Writings of Henry D. Thoreau) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780691065410
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Published: Princeton University Press - May 26th, 2002

Henry David Thoreau: Collected Essays and Poems (Loa #124) (Library of America #124) Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9781883011956
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Published: Library of America - April 23rd, 2001

Henry David Thoreau: A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Walden, the Maine Woods, Cape Cod (Loa #28) (Library of America) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780940450271
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Published: Library of America - September 15th, 1989

A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (Penguin Classics) Cover Image
By Henry David Thoreau, H. Daniel Peck (Introduction by), H. Daniel Peck (Notes by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780140434422
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Published: Penguin Books - December 1st, 1998

A Year in Thoreau's Journal: 1851 Cover Image
By Henry David Thoreau, H. Daniel Peck (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140390858
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Published: Penguin Books - December 1st, 1993

Walden: Or, Life in the Woods Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780486424729
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Published: Dover Publications - October 28th, 2002

LARGE-PRINT EDITION

In the spring of 1845, Henry David Thoreau built a wooden hut on the shores of Walden Pond outside Concord, Massachusetts, intending to devote himself -- for a time -- to a simple life. The product of his two-year stay there was this volume of classic essays -- one of the great books of American letters and a masterpiece of reflective philosophizing. Accounts of his daily life are interwoven with musings on the virtues of self-reliance and individual freedom, on society, government, and other topics -- all expressed with clear-headed wisdom and remarkable beauty of style.


The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Volume 5: Journal, Volume 5: 1852-1853. Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780691065366
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Published: Princeton University Press - July 27th, 1997