A New England Transcendentalist and author of the book Walden, Henry David Thoreau was also an essayist, poet and practical philosopher.
Henry David Thoreau is one of America’s most famous writers, he is well remembered for his naturalistic and philosophical writings. He was born in Concord, Massachusetts, along with his older brother and sister, John and Helen as well as a younger sister Sophia. His Father owned and operated a local pencil factory while his mother rented out parts of the family home to borders. Thoreau was a bright student, he eventually went to Harvard College (now Harvard University). It was at Harvard that he studied Greek, Latin and German as well, he graduated from college in 1837 and struggled with what he should do next.
After college, Thoreau went to work for his father for a time, and in those yeas he befriended writer and fellow Concord resident Ralph Waldo Emerson. Through Emerson, he became exposed to Transcendentalism, a school of thought that emphasized the importance of empirical thinking and of spiritual matters over the physical world. It encouraged scientific inquiry and observation. Thoreau came to know many of the movement's leading figures, including Bronson Alcott and Margaret Fuller. Emerson acted as a mentor to Thoreau and supported him in many ways. For a time, Thoreau lived with Emerson as a caretaker for his home. Emerson also used his influence to promote Thoreau's literary efforts. Some of Thoreau's first works were published in The Dial, a Transcendentalist magazine. And Emerson gave Thoreau access to the lands that would inspire one of his greatest works.
In 1845, Thoreau built a small home for himself on Walden Pond, on property owned by Emerson. He spent more than two years there. Seeking a simpler type of life, Thoreau flipped the standard routine of the times. He experimented with working as little as possible rather than engage in the pattern of six days on with one day off. Sometimes Thoreau worked as...