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Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) is one of America’s most famous authors and poets, and one of the prominent writers of the Transcendentalist Era in the mid-19th century. Along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was a mentor of sorts to Thoreau, the two of them produced large bodies of work that formed the backbone of Transcendentalism. Thoreau in particular was an ardent abolitionist, naturalist, historian, philosopher, and also laid the groundwork for peaceful civil disobedience movements across the world in moral opposition to unjust states.

Thoreau’s most famous work is Walden, which he wrote after living on Walden Pond outside Concord, Massachusetts for over 2 years. Thoreau in particular took a keen interest in the idea of getting in touch with nature, writing in Walden, “Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”  

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