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About the book
  • Published: 1 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9780143106500
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 656
  • RRP: $36.00

The Portable Thoreau


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Self-described as 'a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher to boot', Henry David Thoreau dedicated his life to preserving his freedom as a man and as an artist. Nature was the fountainhead of his inspiration and his refuge from what he considered the follies of society. Heedless of his friends' advice to live in a more orthodox manner, he determinedly pursued his own inner bent - that of a poet-philosopher - in prose and verse, in his masterpiece Walden, from which this work is taken. Edited by noted Thoreau scholar Jeffrey S. Cramer, this edition is the new standard for those interested in discovering the great thinker's influential ideas about everything from environmentalism to limited government.

  • Pub date: 1 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9780143106500
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 656
  • RRP: $36.00

About the Authors

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts, the town where he would live for most of his life. Along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, he is the most famous of the American Transcendentalists, a group of philosophical thinkers who frequently explored the relationship between human beings and the natural world. He was educated at Harvard, and over the course of his life took on a number of different occupations, including lead-pencil maker, schoolteacher and surveyor.

Thoreau was outspokenly critical of the American government, fervently opposed to slavery, and an advocate of passive resistance. Whilst Walden (1854) is his best-known work, his 1849 essay ‘Civil Disobedience’ has inspired non-violent political activists the world over, including Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr, and his nature writings are considered ground-breaking works in ecology. He died in his hometown of Concord in 1862.


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