Life and Writings Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts in and died there inat the age of forty-four. Although the two American thinkers had a turbulent relationship due to serious philosophical and personal differences, they had a profound and lasting effect upon one another. It was in the fall of that Thoreau, aged twenty, made his first entries in the multivolume journal he would keep for the rest of his life. Most of his published writings were developed from notes that first appeared on these pages, and Thoreau subsequently revised many entries, so his journal can be considered a finished work in itself.
|Thoreau’s ‘Paradise To Be Regained’ | Issue 70 | Philosophy Now||Henry David Thoreau is one of the best-loved authors in American history, and its most famous chronicler of the simple life.|
Daguerreotype by Benjamin D. Maxham, Introduction Henry David Thoreau - was an American philosopher, naturalist, writer and political activist of the early Modern period.
He was involved with the 19th Century American Transcendentalism movement of his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson. Although relatively unknown to the general public during his own lifetime, the influence of his philosophy of civil disobedience and non-violent resistance has been specifically credited by such later figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
He adhered to no recognizable political position, but his work to some extent influenced later generations of AnarchistsMarxists and Existentialists.
Likewise, it was only many years after his death that he came to be regarded as one of the foremost American writers, both for the modern clarity of his prose style and for his prescient of his views on nature and politics. His writings on natural history anticipated the methods and findings of modern ecology and environmentalism.
His father was John Thoreau, the owner of a pencil factory in Concord; his mother was Cynthia Dunbar her father, Asa Dunbar, was known for leading Harvard's "Butter Rebellion", the first recorded student protest in the United States.
He had two older siblings, Helen and John Jr.
He was usually described as plain to the point of ugly, with a long nose, misshapen mouth and wild neck-beard, and with "uncouth and rustic, though courteous" manners. He studied at Concord Academy from toand then at Harvard University from totaking courses in rhetoric, classics, philosophy, mathematics and science.
During a leave of absence from Harvard inhe taught at a school in Canton, Massachusetts, awakening an interest in education.
After graduating inhe briefly joined the faculty of Concord Academy, but the school board soon dismissed him when he refused to administer corporal punishment. He and his brother John then opened a grammar school in Concord inwhere they introduced several progressive concepts, including nature walks and visits to local shops and businesses.
The school closed when John became fatally ill from tetanus in He worked at his family's pencil factory at various times throughout his adult life, helping to create the modern pencil by introducing clay into the manufacture of graphite pencil "lead"and later converting the factory to produce ink for typesetting machines.
He also worked as a land surveyor for a time. During the early years after graduating, Thoreau met Ralph Waldo Emerson whose essay "Nature" he had read while at Harvardwhich proved to be a decisive turning point in Thoreau's life.
Emerson took a paternal and at times patronizing interest in Thoreau, advising the young man and introducing him to a circle of local writers and thinkers, including Ellery Channing -Margaret Fuller -Bronson Alcott -Nathaniel Hawthorne - and Julian Hawthorne - Several of these were members of Emerson 's Transcendentalism philosophical movement, and Thoreau became a convert of Transcendentalism albeit not a hugely active onewhich fitted well with his spiritual and intuitive bent and his interest in Nature.
For a few months inhe moved to the home of Emerson 's brother, William, on Staten Island, tutoring his children while also writing for New York periodicals, aided in part by his future literary representative, Horace Greeley - He went through a restless period in the mids, and often talked of buying or leasing a farm to give him the means of support and the solitude to write a book.
He finally embarked on his two-year experiment in simple living in July ofwhen he moved to a small self-built house on land owned by Emerson in a second-growth forest around the shores of Walden Pond, just a couple of miles from his family home.In the morning I found the Thoreaus agitated by the arrival of a colored fugitive from Virginia, who had come to their door at daybreak.
He was flawed, He had old-fashioned, stoical ideas. Utopia Thoreau’s ‘Paradise To Be Regained’ James Moran considers the archetypal American antedeluvian’s criticism of someone else’s technological paradise..
Henry David Thoreau is one of the best-loved authors in American history, and its most famous chronicler of the simple life.
The 19th Century Evolution of Transcendentalism. Ralph Waldo Emerson ( - ) is today the most readily recognized propagator and champion of 19th century Transcendentalist thought. Perhaps the ideas are more tangible and accessible than the experience, but that does leave a rather poor understanding of the mystical experience itself.
Given these shortcomings, the book isn't a bad read, just flawed. The film ‘Minority Report’ demonstrated that despite using the system of having pre-cogs topredict futurecrimes was thought to be perfect, it is still proven in the end that the system is flawed.
Start studying Henry David Thoreau - "Civil Disobedience". Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Thoreau's Journals - posted in Pen History: Very nice article in the New York Times today about an exhibit of Henry David Thoreaus journals at the Morgan Library in New York. Of particular interest to me are the photos of his manuscripts of the volumes from and the hand has changed profoundly. I wonder to what extent the change reflects the normal process of aging and taking actions. The film ‘Minority Report’ demonstrated that despite using the system of having pre-cogs topredict futurecrimes was thought to be perfect, it is still proven in the end that the system is flawed.
Thoreau's Journals - posted in Pen History: Very nice article in the New York Times today about an exhibit of Henry David Thoreaus journals at the Morgan Library in New York. Of particular interest to me are the photos of his manuscripts of the volumes from and the hand has changed profoundly.
I wonder to what extent the change reflects the normal process of aging and taking actions.