[Thoreau] took man’s relation to nature and man’s dilemma in society...beat all these matters together...and produced an original omelet from which people can draw nourishment on a hungry day.”
E. B. White on Walden
About the Author
Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts, where he lived for most of his life except for brief sojourns out of state and to Canada. Educated at Harvard, he returned home to Concord, and supported himself in diverse ways in the family pencil-making business, and as handyman, teacher, lecturer, and surveyor.
On July 4, 1845, Thoreau decided to move to Walden Pond, on the outskirts of Concord, where he built a cabin in the woods, remaining there for a little over two years. He recounted his experience in essential living in Walden; or, Life in the Woods, published in 1854, seven years after leaving Walden Pond.
Thoreau is not only one of the greatest American authors, but commands a major place in world literature as well; his works have been translated into virtually every modern language. He wrote many books and essays, in addition to his voluminous Journal from which he drew much of the material for his other works. Thoreau died in Concord of tuberculosis, on May 6, 1862.
Editor Carol Spenard LaRusso lives in Santa Rosa, California.