Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Death: 6th May 1862
Location: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts.
Cause of death: Tuberculosis
Photo taken by: Victor Grigas
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American author, poet and naturalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings.  Published in 1854, it details Thoreau's sojourn in a cabin near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thoreau did not intend to live as a hermit, for he received visitors and returned their visits. Instead, he hoped to isolate himself from society in order to gain a more objective understanding of it. Simple living and self-sufficiency were Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, which was one of the key ideas of the American Romantic Period.  The book is not a traditional autobiography, but combines autobiography with a social critique of contemporary Western culture's consumerist and materialist attitudes and its distance from and destruction of nature.