Walden; or Life in the Woods

Thoreau, Henry David | from Multimedia Library Collection:
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Henry David Thoreau. Walden. Original Cover. Published 1854 in the United States by Ticknor and Fields.

Thoreau, Henry David. Walden; or Life in the Woods. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854.

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, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. — Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

Walden or Life in the Woods is written by transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau and was first published in 1854. 
The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance. It describes Thoreau’s experiences over the course of two years in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland in Massachusetts, owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson. (Text adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Further readings: 
  • Branch, Michael P. Reading the Roots: American Nature Writing before Walden. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004. www.environmentandsociety.org/mml/branch-michael-p-reading-roots-american-nature-writing-walden