Henry David Thoreau – The Walden Woods Project

Hodder, Alan D. Thoreau’s Ecstatic Witness. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001. DOI:

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Henry David Thoreau lived in the mid-nineteenth century during turbulent times in America. He said he was born "in the nick of time" in Concord, Massachusetts, during the flowering of America when the transcendental movement was taking root and when the anti-slavery movement was rapidly gaining momentum. His contemporaries and neighbors were Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson Alcott, Margaret Fuller, and his mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Milder, Robert. Reimagining Thoreau. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995. DOI:

The Henry David Thoreau Collection - Concord Museum

As a philosopher and Transcendentalist, Thoreau found a pantheistic sense of spirit and God: "I do not prefer one religion or philosophy to another. I have no sympathy with the bigotry and ignorance which make transient and partial and puerile distinctions between one man’s faith or form of faith & another’s . . . To the philosopher all sects, all nations, are alike. I like Brahma, Hari, Buddha, the Great Spirit, as well as God."

Sayre, Robert F. Thoreau and the American Indians. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977.

Sensitive study of Thoreau’s lifelong attempt to balance memory and perception, loss and remembrance, in working out a harmonious vision of life. Explores how the intertextual relations among Thoreau’s three main works articulate this vision, while making a compelling case for the Journal as an integral literary project.

5 Fascinating Facts About Yoga's U.S. History | HuffPost


Truth be told, I find much of his work boring and wordy

There is an old joke among Thoreauvians that most people know Thoreau as the man who spent half his life at Walden Pond and the other half in jail, but the reason that his brief time at Walden and his one night in jail have become such defining moments in his life can be summed up under one term: Writer. Thoreau was one of the most powerful and influential writers America has produced. His prose style was unequaled. And although only a small part of his work was published in his short lifetime, he was a prolific writer whose filled twenty volumes when collected in 1906. The publication of his of over two million words in 1906, the first time an American author had his journal published in full, showed the recognition afforded him by his publisher, Houghton Mifflin.

11 Simple Facts About Henry David Thoreau | Mental Floss

So now I would say something similar to you, my readers. Since you are my readers, and I have not been much of a traveller, I will not talk about people a thousand miles off, but come as near home as I can. As the time is short, I will leave out all the flattery, and retain all the criticism.

Henry David Thoreau’s views of 19th-century media …

Buell, Lawrence. Literary Transcendentalism: Style and Vision in the American Renaissance. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1973.

Life Without Principle - Henry David Thoreau

When Thoreau died, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his : "The country knows not yet, or in the least part, how great a son it has lost. . . . His soul was made for the noblest society; he had in a short life exhausted the capabilities of this world; wherever there is knowledge, wherever there is virtue, wherever there is beauty, he will find a home."

Browse By Author: T - Project Gutenberg

AT a lyceum, not long since, I felt that the lecturer had chosen a theme too foreign to himself, and so failed to interest me as much as he might have done. He described things not in or near to his heart, but toward his extremities and superficies. There was, in this sense, no truly central or centralizing thought in the lecture. I would have had him deal with his privatest experience, as the poet does. The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. I am surprised, as well as delighted, when this happens, it is such a rare use he would make of me, as if he were acquainted with the tool. Commonly, if men want anything of me, it is only to know how many acres I make of their land,—since I am a surveyor,—or, at most, what trivial news I have burdened myself with. They never will go to law for my meat; they prefer the shell. A man once came a considerable distance to ask me to lecture on Slavery; but on conversing with him, I found that he and his clique expected seven-eighths of the lecture to be theirs, and only one-eighth mine; so I declined. I take it for granted, when I am invited to lecture anywhere,—for I have had a little experience in that business,—that there is a desire to hear what I think on some subject, though I may be the greatest fool in the country,—and not that I should say pleasant things merely, or such as the audience will assent to; and I resolve, accordingly, that I will give them a strong dose of myself. They have sent for me, and engaged to pay for me, and I am determined that they shall have me, though I bore them beyond all precedent.