Walden (first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods) is an American book written by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance. Published in 1854, it details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts.
By immersing himself in nature, Thoreau hoped to gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection. Simple living and self-sufficiency were Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, a central theme of the American Romantic Period. As Thoreau made clear in his book, his cabin was not in wilderness but at the edge of town, about two miles (3 km) from his family home.
Famous quotes containing the word Walden:
“White Pond and Walden are great crystals on the surface of the earth, Lakes of Light.... They are too pure to have a market value; they contain no muck. How much more beautiful than our lives, how much more transparent than our characters are they! We never learned meanness of them.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)