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Social reformer — Naturalist — Philosopher — Transcendentalist — Scientist. These are just some of the terms by which the work of Henry David Thoreau can be categorized. There is an old joke among Thoreauvians that most people know Thoreau as the man who spent half his life at Walden Pond and the other half in jail, but the reason that his brief time at Walden and his one night in jail have become such defining moments in his life can be summed up under one term: Writer.
Benjamin D. Maxham daguerreotype of Thoreau, 18 June 1856 (From The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, 1906)
Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion. — Walden