Thoreau, Henry David ___ 1817-1862 ___ American ___ writer, philosopher

BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY
Born in Concord, Massachusetts, Thoreau studied at Harvard but left with an undistinguished record. On returning to Concord, he and his brother John set up a progressive school. It operated for three years until John became ill in 1838. John died of lockjaw the following year. A chance encounter with the poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, who had moved to Concord while Thoreau was at Harvard, proved very significant in Thoreau's life - the older man encouraging young Thoreau in his writing. Out of their literary enthusiasms New England Transcendentalism emerged. This was a movement that combined romanticism with reform, and celebrated nature rather than man, the individual rather than the masses, and emotion rather than reason. Together Thoreau and Emerson launched a magazine called 'The Dial'. In 1845, Thoreau, still suffering grief over his brother's death, and from a failure to secure a job, implemented an idea borrowed from a Harvard classmate. With permission from Emerson, he cut down some trees on Emerson's land, built a timber hut, and lived there, in a simple manner, for two years. During this time, he wrote the drafts of books, one in memory of a canoe trip he had taken with John. Thereafter, Thoreau's commitment to Transcendentalism lessened and he became more interested in botany; he also campaigned against slavery. He died relatively young of tuberculosis. Thoreau's journal, which fills 47 volumes and has been published in many different forms, is probably his most important work.
A biography link
Wikipedia bio

DIARY DATES, CONTENT DESCRIPTORS
1837-1861 ___ literary self nature philosophy creativity people slavery

WEB TEXT LINKS
etext
etext
etext

ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT LINKS
New York Public Library - some

SOME PUBLISHED TITLES
The Journals of Henry D. Thoreau
The Writings of Henry David Thoreau
Writing Nature. Henry Thoreau's Journal
 

May 2005, August 2008, April 2013
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IMPORTANT NOTES AND CAUTIONS: 1) The first line of basic information may be incomplete in several ways: some historical figures have different names (titles, pen-names); their birth and death dates may be unknown or uncertain (g - guess, c - circa); similarly, their occupations may be unknown, or they may have had other jobs; and, for early diarists, I've used 'British' a bit too freely. 2) The biographical summary may not be accurate. It was compiled quickly from various sources, mostly on the internet, and the facts were not checked anywhere near as rigorously as they would have been if they'd been intended for publication in a printed form. 3) The journal dates and descriptors (which are in no particular order) must be treated with caution: since I have not examined the diaries myself, the descriptors are only guesses based on bibliographies, anthologies and internet biographies. 4) For the biography and etext links, I have ignored any sites with charges, and I have avoided, wherever possible, those with pop-ups or too much advertising. I have limited myself to providing three etext links where there is some variety between them. 5) For the original manuscript links, I have limited myself to providing a maximum of two (although, for a few diarists, their original diaries are held in more than two places). 6) I have provided the titles - chosen randomly - for up to three printed editions of the diaries.

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