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Henry David Thoreau Biography (David Henry Thoreau) : Author and Philosopher
Famous for : Being an influential American author, philosopher and thinker. Thoreau wrote the popular non fiction book called Walden, or Life in the Woods.
Thoreau details : Born - 12th of July, 1817 Massachusetts, USA / Died 6th of May, 1862 United States of America


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Henry David Thoreau Bio

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Henry David Thoreau is a famous writer and peace advocate of the mid nineteenth century. His published works include Walden, or a Life in the Woods and Civil Disobedience. Walden resulted from Thoreau's two-year stay in a tiny hut near Walden Pond while Civil Disobedience advocated non-violent demonstrations, a work that later influenced Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts under the name David Henry. It wasn't until after his college education that he changed it to "Henry David". Thoreau completed his childhood education at Concord Academy and, although his scholastic achievements were not exemplary, he managed to secure a scholarship to Harvard where he began his university education in 1833. After graduating in 1837, Thoreau returned to Concord to work as a school teacher for the same Academy he had attended as a boy.

Thoreau's reluctancy to administer corporal punishment, however, cost him his job. In order to continue teaching under his own ethics, Thoreau and his borhter John opened their own grammar school in 1838. It was during this time that Thoreau befriended local writer Ralph Waldo Emerson who took interest in Thoreau's writing.

Henry David Thoreau's grammar school shut down in 1941 after his brother's death and the young writer settled into daily life in Concord under the watchful eyes of Emerson. A naturalist at heart, Thoreau was often seen wandering and studying the ecology of his surroundings and writing notes in a journal. These, along with a book review, made up his first published essay in the periodical The Dial.

It was also during this time that Thoreau moved into the Emerson household. Emerson had taken a liking to the young man and wanted to help support Thoreau's writing. In exchange for tutoring his children and helping with chores when it wouldn't interfere with his literary work, Emerson helped support Thoreau and kept him as his perpetual guest. Emerson, along with Horace Greeley, helped Thoreau write and publish and series of essays for New York periodicals during this time.

In 1844 Thoreau became restless and went to work at his family's pencil factory. While he was there he managed to improve the graphite interior of the pencil and increase production. Although he kept busy, Thoreau was unsatisfied and, in 1845 decided to take a two-year leave as an experiment on simplicity and nature studies. He also hoped that a period of solitude would give him enough time to finish his first book.

On July 4, 1845 Henry David Thoreau moved into a tiny one-room house he built on land owned by Emerson. The cabin, settled next to Walden Pond, was located close enough to town to allow him access to both supplies and family whenever he needed. It was, however, secluded enough to give him the quiet atmosphere he desired. He lived simply on his own for two years observing nature and writing. It was also during this time that a tax collector sought out Thoreau for delinquent taxes and took him to jail for two nights. Since Thoreau did not support the Mexican-American War or slavery, he refused to pay. Thoreau's aunt ended up paying the taxes, at Thoreau's protest, in order to free him from his cell. These events made a lasting impression on Thoreau helping him develop the idea of non-violent protests against an unethical government. He later expressed his beliefs in his essay Civil Disobedience.

Thoreau left Walden Pond on September 6, 1847 and began revising his written works. Seven years later, in 1854, Thoreau published Walden, or Life in the Woods. Although it initially failed to gain popularity, Walden was later seen as a great work of literature with symbolisms between the simplicity of nature and the human spirit.

Thoreau's later works consisted of environmental essays and observations of nature in New England. Although he considered himself a naturalist, his writings were criticized by scientists and ecologists of his time. These works were later seen as foundations to modern methods of studying ecology.

Henry David Thoreau contracted tuberculosis in 1835 and suffered periodically over the years. With lungs partially damaged from graphite inhalation at the pencil factory in his early years, Thoreau became seriously ill with bronchitis in 1859. He weakened over the next few years and his friends were impressed with Thoreau's peaceful acceptance of death. He passed away on May 6, 1862. He was 44 years old and had never married.



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Henry David Thoreau Quotes Famous Henry David Thoreau Quotes


If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau - Confidence - Dreams - Success - Life -
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Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? 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 - Success - Competition


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