On this day August 9, 1852, Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden; or, Life in the Woods” was published. “Walden” details Thoreau’s experiences over the course of two years living in a woodland cabin he built near Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. Notes about the author from The Thoreau Society – which is the oldest and largest organization devoted to an American author:
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, philosopher, and naturalist who was part of the Transcendentalist movement. He is best known for his “Civil Disobedience” essay, which he wrote after spending a night in jail for not paying the poll tax; and for his two-year retreat to Walden Pond, detailed in his second book, Walden, or Life in the Woods.
Selected Thoughts of Henry 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.
To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand … Simplify, simplify.