Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David
   Essayist, poet, and naturalist, was b. at Concord, Massachusetts. His f., of French extraction, from Jersey, was a manufacturer of lead-pencils. He was ed. at Harvard, where he became a good classical scholar. Subsequently he was a competent Orientalist, and was deeply versed in the history and manners of the Red Indians. No form of regular remunerative employment commending itself to him, he spent the 10 years after leaving coll. in the study of books and nature, for the latter of which he had exceptional qualifications in the acuteness of his senses and his powers of observation. Though not a misanthropist, he appears in general to have preferred solitary communion with nature to human society. "The man I meet," he said, "is seldom so instructive as the silence which he breaks;" and he described himself as "a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher." He made such money as his extremely simple mode of life called for, by building boats or fences, agricultural or garden work, and surveying, anything almost of an outdoor character which did not involve lengthened engagement. In 1837 he began his diaries, records of observation with which in ten years he filled 30 vols. In 1839 he made the excursion the record of which he in 1845 pub. as A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers. Two years later, in 1841, he began a residence in the household of Emerson, which lasted for two years, when he assisted in conducting the Dial, and in 1845, after some teaching in New York, he retired to a hut near the solitary Walden Pond to write his Week on the Concord, etc. Later works were Walden (1854), and The Maine Woods (1864), and Cape Cod (1865), accounts of excursions and observations, both pub. after his death. T. was an enthusiast in the anti-slavery cause, the triumph of which, however, he did not live to see, as he d. on May 6, 1862, when the war was still in its earlier stages. The deliberate aim of T. was to live a life as nearly approaching naturalness as possible; and to this end he passed his time largely in solitude and in the open air. As he says, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach." To his great powers of observation he added great powers of reflection, and two of the most characteristic features of his writings are immediateness and individuality in his descriptions of nature, and a remarkable power of giving permanent and clear form to the most subtle and evanescent mental impressions.

Short biographical dictionary of English literature . . 2011.

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  • Thoreau, Henry David — born July 12, 1817, Concord, Mass., U.S. died May 6, 1862, Concord U.S. thinker, essayist, and naturalist. Thoreau graduated from Harvard University and taught school for several years before leaving his job to become a poet of nature. Back in… …   Universalium

  • Thoreau, Henry David — (12 jul. 1817, Concord, Mass., EE.UU.–6 may. 1862, Concord). Pensador, ensayista y naturalista estadounidense. Se graduó de la Universidad de Harvard, fue profesor de escuela durante muchos años antes de dejar su trabajo y transformarse en un… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Thoreau,Henry David — Tho·reau (thə rōʹ, thôrʹō), Henry David. 1817 1862. American writer. A seminal figure in the history of American thought, he spent much of his life in Concord, Massachusetts, where he became associated with the New England transcendentalists and… …   Universalium

  • Thoreau, Henry David — (1817–1862) American writer and poet. Born in Concord, Massachusetts, Thoreau was a friend of Emerson s and similarly imbued with the ideas of New England transcendentalism . In Thoreau s case it harmonized with a natural asceticism and high… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • THOREAU, HENRY DAVID —    an American author who, next to his friend and neighbour Emerson, gave the most considerable impulse to the transcendental movement in American literature, born in Concord, where his life was mostly spent, of remote French extraction; was with …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Thoreau, Henry David —  (1817–1862) American naturalist, poet, and writer …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • THOREAU, Henry David — (1817 1862)    American TRANSCENDENTALIST philosopher whose reflections on self sufficiency in his book Walden (1854), and FAITH have greatly influenced POSITIVE THINKING and WORD OF FAITH type CHRISTIAN movements …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Thoreau, Henry David —    см. Topo, Генри Дэвид …   Писатели США. Краткие творческие биографии

  • Henry David Thoreau — Thoreau redirects here. For other uses, see Thoreau (disambiguation). Henry David Thoreau Maxham daguerreotype of Henry David Thoreau made in 1856 Full name Henry David Thoreau Born July 12, 1817( …   Wikipedia

  • Henry David Thoreau — en 1856. Nombre …   Wikipedia Español

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