When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only.
My purpose in going to Walden Pond was not to live cheaply nor to live dearly there, but to transact some private business with the fewest obstacles; to be hindered from accomplishing which for want of a little common sense, a little enterprise and business talent, appeared not so sad as foolish.
Thoreau himself lived for two years in a cabin in Walden Pond
amidst woodland owned by his writer friend Ralph Waldo Emerson.
In fact, according to Laura Dassow Walls, an English professor at Notre Dame and the author of Henry David Thoreau: A Life, a definitive new biography that emerged this year, Thoreau's experiment was on such a "public stage" that "his two years, two months, and two days living at Walden Pond
would forever remain an iconic work of performance art.
is a designated National Historic Landmark on 335 acres of protected land, where a variety of trails lead to the site of Thoreau's cabin, marked by a set of stone pillars.
From Walden Pond
, where transcendentalist yearning still moves acolytes through the woods, to the site of the Temple of Artemis, where the goddess no longer lives: Erickson's travels encompass locales both familiar and idealized, finding meaning between spaces that are quiet and grand.
Walden' narrates his two-year experiment in self-sufficiency by living in a hut he built at the edge of Walden Pond
In between, he visited the Abbey Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky and Walden Pond
in Massachusetts to think about "the utopia of solitude.
Stevenson was twenty-eight years old and author of two books of outdoor travel literature when he sailed west to rescue and possess the married woman he wanted, precipitating a crisis with his parents and causing his father, Thomas, to end financial support of his son, although that support would resume a few months into 1880; Thoreau was eight days shy of the same age when on July 4, 1845, he began his two-year-plus residence at Walden Pond
Even when he was living near Walden Pond
, his cabin was about a mile from Concord and he walked into the village most every day.
Thoreau at Walden Pond
abound in our national consciousness.
Writing America: Literary Landmarks From Walden Pond
to Wounded Knee, A Reader's Companion