Henry David Thoreau Quotes

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Walden    Civil Disobedience    Henry David Thoreau : Collected Essays and Poems (Library of America)    Thoreau and the Art of Life: Reflections on Nature and the Mystery of Existence

Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts. He spent time as a school teacher after attending Harvard College but was dismissed for his refusal to administer corporal punishment. In 1845, wanting to write his first book, he moved to Walden Pond and built his cabin on land owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It was during his time at Walden that Thoreau was imprisoned briefly for not paying taxes; this experience became the basis for his well-known essay “Civil Disobedience.”

He died of tuberculosis in 1862 at the age of 44.

Walden and Civil Disobedience
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Henry David Thoreau reflects on life, politics, and society in these two inspiring masterworks. In 1845, Thoreau moved to a cabin that he built with his own hands along the shores of Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Shedding the trivial ties that he felt bound much of huma...
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Walden
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In 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved into a cabin by Walden Pond. With the intention of immersing himself in nature and distancing himself from the distractions of social life, Thoreau sustained his retreat for just over two years. More popular than ever, “Walden” is ...
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Henry David Thoreau : Collected
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America’s greatest nature writer and a political thinker of international renown, Henry David Thoreau crafted essays that reflect his speculative and probing cast of mind. In his poems, he gave voice to his private sentiments and spiritual aspirations in the plain sty...
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Civil Disobedience
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"Resistance to Civil Government" ("Civil Disobedience") is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and tha...
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Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.

— Henry David Thoreau

Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.

— Henry David Thoreau

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.

— Henry David Thoreau

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.

— Henry David Thoreau

Dreams are the touchstones of our character.

— Henry David Thoreau

Dwell as near as possible to the channel in which your life flows.

— Henry David Thoreau

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but religiously follows the new.

— Henry David Thoreau

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

— Henry David Thoreau

I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better.

— Henry David Thoreau

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.

— Henry David Thoreau

It is never too late to give up your prejudices.

— Henry David Thoreau

It is only when we forget our learning that we begin to know.

— Henry David Thoreau

It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.

— Henry David Thoreau

Many men go fishing all their lives, not knowing it is not fish they are after.

— Henry David Thoreau

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.

— Henry David Thoreau

The world is but a canvas to the imagination.

— Henry David Thoreau

There is no remedy for love but to love more.

— Henry David Thoreau

When we bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.

— Henry David Thoreau

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.

— Henry David Thoreau