American poet Robert Frost wrote of Thoreau, "In one book ... he surpasses everything we have had in America."
Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson judged Thoreau’s endorsement of... More > living alone in natural simplicity, apart from modern society, to be a mark of effeminacy, calling it "womanish solicitude; for there is something unmanly, something almost dastardly" about the lifestyle.
Poet John Greenleaf Whittier criticized what he perceived as the message in Walden that man should lower himself to the level of a woodchuck and walk on four legs. He said: "Thoreau's Walden is a capital reading, but very wicked and heathenish... After all, for me, I prefer walking on two legs"< Less
CONTENTS: Economy--Where I Lived, and What I Lived For--Reading--Sounds--Solitude--Visitors--Beanfield-- Village--Ponds--Baker Farm--Higher Laws--Brute Neighbors--House-Warming--Former Inhabitants;... More > and Winter Visitors--Winter Animals--Pond in Winter--Spring--Conclusion. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS: Walden Pond--Thoreau’s Cove--Placid Waters--Site of Thoreau’s House--Pitch Pine by Shore of Walden--Unitarian Church--A Glimpse of Walden--Concord Battle Ground--Where Thoreau’s Cabin Stood-- Railroad at East End of Pond--Emerson’s Home--Cartpath Near Thoreau’s Hut--Children in Woods by Pond--Concord Business Centre--A Winter Road Near Thoreau’s Cabin--In Woods Near Fair-Haven Hill--Concord River in Winter--Stony Shore--Flint’s Pond--White Pond--Swampy Lowland--Baker Farm--Fair-Haven Pond--Brister’s Spring--River Meadows--Brister’s Hill and Walden Highway--Icy Trees--Goose Pond in Winter--Icebound Pond--Walden Pond on a Winter Morning--Among Pines Bordering Pond--River Near Nine Acre Corner--Concord.< Less
Walden by Henry David Thoreau is one of the best-known non-fiction books written by an American. Published in 1854, it details Thoreau’s life for two years, two months, and two days around the... More > shores of Walden Pond. Walden is neither a novel nor a true autobiography, but a social critique of the Western World, with each chapter heralding some aspect of humanity that needed to be either renounced or praised. Along with his critique of the civilized world, Thoreau examines other issues afflicting man in society, ranging from economy and reading to solitude and higher laws. He also takes time to talk about the experience at Walden Pond itself, commenting on the animals and the way people treated him for living there, using those experiences to bring out his philosophical positions. This extended commentary on nature has often been interpreted as a strong statement to the natural religion that transcendentalists like Thoreau and Emerson were preaching.< Less
"WHEN I WROTE the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in... More > Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again."< Less
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862) was an American poet, author, and transcendentalist who is best known for his book Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854).
In Walden, Thoreau accounts for his two... More > years spent in a little cabin near Walden Pond, where he lived a self-reliant, solitary, and contemplative existence in accord with nature and his soul. He went on walks, grew a fine neck beard, and wrote one of the cornerstones of transcendentalist literature. His work is a celebration of the unity of nature and an exploration of humanity and the divine - ideals which form the basis of transcendentalism. Transcendentalism is the movement that champions simplicity, solitude, and living in accord with nature. For literary reasons, Thoreau condensed his 26 months spent at Walden into one year, which began and ended in Spring. It took him seven years to complete, a time during which he assiduously honed and reworked his manuscript, which were based on his own journals.< Less
Henry David Thoreau's classic account of self-reliance in an age of encroaching modern developments is inspirational, spiritual, rugged, raw and humorous. This volume, the second in a planned series... More > of twenty-five books, will ultimately comprise the complete collected works of Henry Thoreau. Available for the first time as an affordable series, Thoreau's words are timeless and especially apt in an age of social uncertainty.< Less
Walden emphasizes the importance of solitude, contemplation, and closeness to nature in transcending the "desperate" existence that, he argues, is the lot of most people. The book is not a... More > traditional autobiography, but combines autobiography with a social critique of contemporary Western culture's consumerist and materialist attitudes and its distance from and destruction of nature. That the book is not simply a criticism of society, but also an attempt to engage creatively with the better aspects of contemporary culture, is suggested both by Thoreau's proximity to Concord society and by his admiration for classical literature. There are signs of ambiguity, or an attempt to see an alternative side of something common.< Less