Walden (1854)

Walden is a memoir by the transcendentalist writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1854. It opens with the author’s straightforward statement that he spent two years in Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts, living a simple life supported by no one. Walden concludes with Thoreau’s comment that with his project over, he returned to civilized life on September 6, 1847. In between, Thoreau weaves together moral philosophy, natural history, and social criticism to describe this experience and to stress the value of simplicity and the importance of self-reliance.

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