Henry David Thoreau


He spent his life in voluntary poverty, enthralled by the study of nature. Two years, in the prime of his life, were spent living in a shack in the woods near a pond. Who would choose a life like this? did, and he enjoyed it. Who was , what did he do, and what did others think of his work?
was born in Concord, Massachusetts on July 12, 1817 ("Thoreau" 96), on his grandmother's farm. Thoreau, who was of French-Huguenot and Scottish-Quaker ancestry, was baptized as David Henry Thoreau, but at the age of twenty he legally changed his name to Henry David. Thoreau was raised with his older sister Helen, older brother John, and younger sister Sophia (Derleth 1) in genteel poverty (The 1995 ...

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of his family and the beneficiary funds of Harvard he went to Cambridge in August 1833 and entered Harvard on September first. "He [Thoreau] stood close to the top of his class, but he went his own way too much to reach the top" (5).
In December 1835, Thoreau decided to leave Harvard and attempt to earn a living by teaching, but that only lasted about a month and a half (8). He returned to college in the fall of 1836 and graduated on August 16, 1837 (12). Thoreau's years at Harvard University gave him one great gift, an introduction to the world of books.
Upon his return from college, Thoreau's family found him to be less likely to accept opinions as facts, more argumentative, and inordinately prone to shock people with his own independent and unconventional opinions. During this time he discovered his secret desire to be a poet (Derleth 14), but most of all he wanted to live with freedom to think and act as he wished.

Immediately after graduation from Harvard, Henry David ...

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first lecture, "Society" (21).

Ralph Waldo Emerson was probably the single most portentous person in Henry David Thoreau's life. From 1841 to 1843 and again between 1847 and 1848 Thoreau lived as a member of Emerson's household, and during this time he came to know Bronson Alcott, Margaret Fuller, and many other members of the "Transcendental Club" ("Thoreau" 696).

On August 31, 1839 Henry David and his elder brother, John, left Concord on a boat trip down the Concord River, onto the Middlesex Canal, into the Merrimack River and into the state of New Hampshire. Out of this trip came Thoreau's first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (25).

Early in 1841, John Thoreau, ...

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Added: 10/18/2007 09:48:44 AM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2069
Pages: 8

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