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Henry David Thoreau

Subject: Literature

(1817–62), American author, became a follower and friend of Emerson. He supported himself by a variety of occupations; a few of his poems were published in the Dial, but he made ...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Hinduism

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Religion
Length:
63 words

..., Henry David ( 1817–1862 ) A major American writer and thinker who, like Emerson , was classified as one of the New England Transcendentalists. He was influenced by a number of Hindu sources, including his reading of Charles Wilkins ' 1785 translation of the Bhagavadgītā . The intellectual debt was repaid to Gāndhī , whose satyāgraha strategy was influenced by Thoreau's essay on ‘Civil...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–62)   Quick reference

Vittorio Bufacchi

A Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
130 words

..., Henry David ( 1817–62 ) American essayist . Born in Concord, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard College. Thoreau is famous for having coined the term civil disobedience . His most powerful and influential political essay, ‘Civil Disobedience’, originally published under the title ‘Resistance to Civil Government’ ( 1849 ), exalts the law of conscience over civil law. Incensed by the Mexican War ( 1846–8 ) and the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 and 1850 , which ensured federal assistance to slave‐catchers, Thoreau became concerned with widespread...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–62)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
129 words

..., Henry David ( 1817–62 ) 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-mindedness. In spite of its pervasive contempt for what he called ‘the mass of mankind’, his most famous work, Walden ( 1854 ), is a continuing inspiration for back-to-nature movements. Thoreau suffered a day’s imprisonment for refusing to pay a poll tax, on the grounds that part of the tax...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Global Change

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005

...on Thoreau, and while Emerson believed that Thoreau failed to realize his potential, new assessments of Thoreau position him as one of the greatest of nineteenth-century American intellectuals. Clearly, he was in the vanguard of evolutionary thinkers, thus underscoring the relevance of his work to the disciplines dealing with the issues of environmental change and human society. Works by thoreau Thoreau, H. D. The Writings of Henry David Thoreau . Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1906. The complete collection of Thoreau's writings. ——. The Journal of Henry David...

THOREAU, Henry David

THOREAU, Henry David (1817–1862)   Reference library

David Davis

Dictionary of Early American Philosophers

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...Henry Thoreau (New York, 1965; repr., Princeton, N.J., 1992). Melter, Milton . Henry David Thoreau: A Biography (Minneapolis, Minn., 2007). Myerson, Joel . The Cambridge Companion to Henry David Thoreau (Cambridge, UK, 1995). Myerson, Joel , ed. Critical Essays on Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (Boston, 1988). Paul, Sherman . The Shores of America: Thoreau’s Inward Exploration (Urbana, Ill., 1958; repr., New York, 1971). Porte, Joel . Emerson and Thoreau: Transcendentalists in Conflict (Middletown, Conn., 1966). Richardson, Robert D. Henry Thoreau:...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–62)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Environment and Conservation (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2017

..., Henry David US writer and social critic ( 1817–62 ) who is best known for the book Walden ( 1854 ), an account of his experiment in simple living, and for the essay Civil Disobedience ( 1849 ), which outlined a doctrine of passive resistance that was subsequently to influence the views of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–62)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2021
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
53 words

..., Henry David ( 1817–62 ) American writer (among many other things), a pioneer in the appreciation of living the simple life in unspoiled natural surroundings, and an influence on the study of natural history, ecology, and environmental matters. He advocated preservation of wild uncultivated land for recreation. DAB ; M.C.Young ( 2009 )...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–1862)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Military History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004

..., Henry David ( 1817–1862 ), transcendentalist, writer, war protester. Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts. A shy, quiet boy who loved the outdoors, Thoreau graduated from Harvard College in 1837 , taught school intermittently until 1841 , then turned to writing as a career. He subsequently led a simple life as one of the New England transcendentalists, writing poems, essays, and two books while trying to earn a living. Although Thoreau may well have been the best remembered antiwar dissenter of his time, his protest against the ...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (12 July 1817)   Reference library

Michael Hovland

The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Music, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
344 words

..., Henry David ( b Concord, MA , 12 July 1817 ; d Concord, MA , 6 May 1862 ). Writer . After graduation from Harvard University in 1837 , he returned to his native Concord, where he remained until his death, making a few excursions and writing in great detail about his thinking and living. He retired to a cabin beside Walden Pond in 1845 and is best known for Walden, or Life in the Woods ( 1854 ) and for the voluminous Journals, published posthumously ( 1906 ; ed. F.H. Allen, 1949 ). Music held an important place in the philosophy of transc...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David   Reference library

Charles Crittenden

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
170 words

..., Henry David ( 1817–62 ). New England Transcendentalist , natural historian, and social critic, Thoreau proclaimed, in Walden , that most people spend their lives superficially, by pursuing wealth and following custom. Genuinely encountering reality is to be found only by separating oneself from the artificialities of city, economic, and family life and communing directly with nature, where one could ‘front only the essential facts of life’. Nature preserves a spontaneity and wildness that civilization suppresses; the civil liberties democracy provides...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–1862)   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Religion, Social sciences
Length:
2,180 words

.... The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing and American Culture . Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1995. Cameron, Sharon . Writing Nature: Henry Thoreau's “Journal.” New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. Cavell, Stanley . The Senses of Walden . New York: Viking, 1972. Harding, Walter . The Days of Henry Thoreau: A Biography . New York: Knopf, 1965. Peck, Daniel . Thoreau's Morning Work . New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. Richardson, Robert D., Jr. Henry David Thoreau: A Life of the Mind . Berkeley:...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
6,059 words

...1965. An examination of Thoreau's life by the man considered by many to be the dean of Thoreau scholars. Hyde, Lewis , ed. The Essays of Henry D. Thoreau . New York, 2002. Thirteen major essays, with an excellent introduction and annotations. Parker, Herschel . Introduction and notes to Henry David Thoreau section. In The Norton Anthology of American Literature . Vol. 1. New York, 1979. pp. 1506–1816. A masterful presentation of the most generous serving-up of Thoreau in any anthology. Richardson, Robert D., Jr. Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind ....

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–62)   Quick reference

World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
70 words

..., Henry David ( 1817–62 ) US writer and naturalist . He was a friend of fellow transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson , who encouraged him to keep the journals from which he quarried much of his later work. An ardent individualist, he experimented in living a near-solitary life, rejecting materialism and finding fulfilment in observing plant and animal life. His essay Civil Disobedience ( 1849 ) influenced many passive resistance movements. See also ...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–1862)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Writers and their Works (3 ed.)

..., Henry David ( 1817–1862 ) American author A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers ( 1849 ) Non-Fiction Walden; or, A Life in the Woods ( 1854 ) Non-Fiction Excursions ( 1863 ) Non-Fiction The Maine Woods ( 1864 ) Non-Fiction Cape Cod ( 1865 ) Non-Fiction A Yankee in Canada ( 1866 ) Non-Fiction Early Spring in Massachusetts ( 1881 ) Non-Fiction Summer ( 1884 ) Non-Fiction Winter ( 1888 ) Non-Fiction...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–1862)   Reference library

Robert D. Richardson Jr

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

..., Henry David ( 1817–1862 ), writer , scientist , transcendentalist . Of the better-known writers of Concord, Massachusetts, only Thoreau was born there. After graduating from Harvard in 1837 , he returned home, became friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson, and embarked on a career of reading, writing, and observing nature. His short stints of gainful employment included work as a day laborer, pencil maker, and surveyor. Except for brief excursions to Staten Island, Cape Cod, Maine, Montreal, New Jersey, and Minnesota, he spent the rest of his life in...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David   Reference library

Robert D. Richardson

The Oxford Companion to United States History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
583 words

...Thoreau, Henry David ( 1817–1862 ), writer, scientist, transcendentalist. Of the better-known writers of Concord, Massachusetts, only Thoreau was born there. After graduating from Harvard in 1837 he returned home, became friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson , and embarked on a career of reading, writing, and observing nature. His short stints of gainful employment included work as a day laborer, pencil maker, and surveyor. Except for brief excursions to Staten Island, Cape Cod, Maine, Montreal, New Jersey, and Minnesota, he spent the rest of his life in...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–62)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Literature
Length:
374 words

..., Henry David ( 1817–62 ) American author , born in Concord, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard University. He became a follower and friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson , and was, in his own words, ‘a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher to boot’. He supported himself by a variety of occupations, as lead pencil‐maker (his father's trade), schoolteacher, tutor, and surveyor; a few of his poems were published in The Dial , but he made no money from literature, and published only two books in his lifetime. The first, A Week on the Concord...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–62)   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to George Eliot

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
216 words

..., Henry David ( 1817–62 ), American writer and naturalist , whose Walden ( 1854 ) George Eliot praised in January 1856 for its author's union of a deep poetic sensibility with a keen eye in observing nature. To readers who might question the utility of living alone in a cabin by a pond, she promised ‘plenty of sturdy sense’ ( Westminster Review , 65: 302) in Thoreau's unworldliness and supplied key excerpts in illustration, italicizing several epigrammatic passages (as Haight notes, 1968 : 183) like those found in her own novels. An example:...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–62)   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Literature
Length:
274 words

..., Henry David ( 1817–62 ) American author. He became a follower and friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson , and was, in his own words, ‘a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher to boot’. A few of his poems were published in The Dial , but he made no money from literature, and published only two books in his lifetime. The first, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack River ( 1849 ), described a journey undertaken in 1839 with his brother; the second, Walden, or Life in the Woods ( 1854 ), attracted little attention, but has since been...

Thoreau, Henry David

Thoreau, Henry David   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Literature (6 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Literature
Length:
1,332 words

..., Henry David ( 1817–62 ), born in Concord of a family whose French, Scottish, Quaker, and Puritan stock helps to account for his temper of mind. Just as his heritage was mixed, so his philosophy of life combined diverse strains, and he called himself “a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher to boot.” At heart, he was predominantly individualistic, and his great interest was “to observe what transpires, not in the street, but in the mind and heart of me!” Although his reading carried him far afield, he could truthfully say “I have...

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