Walden and Other Writings (eBook)
Henry David Thoreau's vision of personal freedom is indelibly etched on the American consciousness. 'We need the tonic of wildness,' Thoreau wrote in Walden, and by turning his back on town amenities to build a house on Walden Pond in 1845, he helped shape our notions of the individual, subsistence, and a moral relation to nature. Raising white beans and potatoes that he sold to his Concord neighbors, he stayed for two years; his book records both the philosophy he developed while living alone and the facts of his everyday life. Included here with the complete text of Walden are selections from Thoreau's first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers; 'A Plea for Captain John Brown,' his eloquent defense of the American abolitionist's rebellion at Harper's Ferry, and such masterpieces as his famous essay 'Civil Disobedience,' in which he describes a night spent in prison for refusing to pay a poll tax to a government that condoned slavery.
About the Author
Henry David Thoreau was born July 12, 1817 - "just in the nick of time," as he wrote, for the "flowering of New England," when the area boasted such eminent citizens as Emerson, Hawthorne, Whitman and Melville. Raised in genteel poverty - his father made and sold pencils from their home - Thoreau enjoyed, nevertheless, a fine education, graduating from Harvard in 1837. In that year, the young thinker met Emerson and formed the close friendship that became the most significant of his life. Guided, sponsored and aided by his famous older colleague, Thoreau began to publish essays in The Dial, exhibiting the radical originality that would gain the disdain of his contemporaries but the great admiration of all succeeding generations.
In 1845, Thoreau began the living experiment for which he is most famous. During his two years and two months in the shack beside the New England pond, he wrote his first important work, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), was arrested for refusing to pay his poll tax to a government that supported slavery (recorded in "Civil Disobedience") and gathered the material for his masterpiece, Walden (1854). He spent the rest of his life writing and lecturing and died, relatively unappreciated, in 1862.
From the Paperback edition.
Praise for Walden and Other Writings…
"This book is like an invitation to life's dance."
--E. B. White