Unfortunately, not much is known about Henry David Thoreau as a child.
But his thoughts and writings have created a lasting impact on our society. My history-inspired picture book manuscript, Nothing But Nature, Thoreau's Prequel, offers a humorous glimpse of what the precocious child-naturalist might have penned beforehe wrotehis famous poem, Nature. All young Thoreau wants is to walk in the quiet forest and write poetry, but ironically, his plans are thwarted when Nature’s true voice isn’t quiet at all.
On submission. For more information, contact me here.
“Every child begins the world again…” -- Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was born July 12, 1817. He was christened David Henry Thoreau, but switched the order of his first and middle names after he attended Harvard College. For most of his life, he lived in Concord, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. Thoreau had one brother and two sisters. They helped pay for Henry David’s college education. Neither he nor any of his siblings married or had children. From an early age, he loved being in the wild. He spent many hours watching – and reading about – animals, flowers, plants, the stars, and weather. His mother, Cynthia, enjoyed the out-of-doors too. She encouraged her son to explore the woods and fields around them. Henry David also loved to write poetry and essays. When he was older, he wrote books including his most famous book, Walden; or, Life in the Woods. This book was about his experience living alone for just over two years in a one room house he built himself. The tiny house was on the edge of Walden Pond near Concord. He wanted to try living simply and being closer to nature. While he did live a simple life there, he wasn’t alone all the time. He had many visitors and often strolled into town to interact with friends and family. Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it. – Henry David Thoreau Thoreau helped people understand the value of nature, and the animals and plants that live within it. He encouraged others to be careful with our natural resources and use only what we need. Two hundred years later, this is still an important message. Thoreau died from tuberculosis at the age of 44. We can still visit Walden Woods, see the view from his door, and remember how Henry David Thoreau encouraged people to live simply and cherish the natural world. To learn more about Henry David Thoreau: The Walden Woods Project: http://www.walden.org/ The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods: http://www.walden.org/Library Thoreau’s cabin in Walden Woods: http://thoreau.eserver.org/cabin.html
Thoreau, Henry David, and Jeffrey S. Cramer. Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition. New Haven: Yale UP, 2004. Print.
About Thoreau | Walden Woods." About Thoreau | Walden Woods. The Thoreau Institute. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <http://www.walden.org/Thoreau>.
"Content Discussion, Review of Backmatter." E-mail discussions. Jan. 2015. Curator of Collections, The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, Lincoln, MA
Loyd, Ralph A. Thoreau as a Nature Essayist. Diss. Kansas State U, Department of English, 1955. Www.openlibrary.org. Print. https://archive.org/stream/thoreauasnaturee00loyd#page/n0/mode/2up
Thoreau, Henry D. Poems of Nature. Digital image. www.openlibrary.org. Web. 5 Dec. 2015. https://archive.org/stream/poemsofnature1895thor2#page/n7/mode/2up>. Collected and edited by Henry S. Salt and Frank B. Sanborn
Nature by Henry David Thoreau
O Nature! I do not aspire To be the highest in thy choir, - To be a meteor in thy sky, Or comet that may range on high; Only a zephyr that may blow Among the reeds by the river low; Give me thy most privy place Where to run my airy race.
In some withdrawn, unpublic mead Let me sigh upon a reed, Or in the woods, with leafy din, Whisper the still evening in: Some still work give me to do, - Only - be it near to you!
For I'd rather be thy child And pupil, in the forest wild, Than be the king of men elsewhere, And most sovereign slave of care; To have one moment of thy dawn, Than share the city's year forlorn.