Back Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

1817–1862
Henry David Thoreau photographed by Benjamin D. Maxham, 1856. (National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Major works:
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack RiversWalden • “Civil Disobedience” • “Walking” • “Slavery in Massachusetts” • “Life Without Principle” • “Autumnal Tints”

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to walk with him. He knew the country like a fox or a bird, and passed through it as freely by paths of his own. He knew every track in the snow or on the ground, and what creature had taken this path before him. One must submit abjectly to such a guide, and the reward was great.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Read an excerpt from

Life Without Principle

Henry David Thoreau

If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if a town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down!

Read a passage from Life Without Principle by Henry David Thoreau
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