Henry David Thoreau

1817 - 1862

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Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist, he is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedience" (originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government"), an argument in favor of citizen disobedience against an unjust state. Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry amount to more than 20 volumes. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Henry David Thoreau has received more than 9,202,480 page views. His biography is available in 86 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 83 in 2019). Henry David Thoreau is the 91st most popular writer (up from 120th in 2019), the 70th most popular biography from United States (up from 93rd in 2019) and the 7th most popular American Writer.

Henry David Thoreau is most famous for his book Walden, in which he describes the two years he spent living in a cabin near Walden Pond.

Memorability Metrics

  • 9.2M

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  • 77.62

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  • 86

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 9.44

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.33

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

A week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
Concord River (Mass.)
The Maine woods
Penobscot Indians
The conflict between scientific observation and poetry, reflections on abolition, transcendental philosophy, other concerns are explored in this superb general selection from Thoreau's voluminous Journal. Here are "...the choicest fruits of Thoreau..." ? Nation.
The writings of Henry David Thoreau
Cape Cod
Cape Cod


Among writers, Henry David Thoreau ranks 91 out of 7,302Before him are Daniel Defoe, Knut Hamsun, Pablo Neruda, Giorgio Vasari, José Saramago, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. After him are Jack London, Toni Morrison, Erich Maria Remarque, Emily Brontë, Matsuo Bashō, and George Sand.

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Among people born in 1817, Henry David Thoreau ranks 1After him are Theodor Mommsen, William III of the Netherlands, Ivan Aivazovsky, Bahá'u'lláh, Louise of Hesse-Kassel, Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Charles-François Daubigny, Niels Gade, Syed Ahmad Khan, Princess Clémentine of Orléans, and Archduke Albrecht, Duke of Teschen. Among people deceased in 1862, Henry David Thoreau ranks 2Before him is Martin Van Buren. After him are Samuel Colt, Jean-Baptiste Biot, John Tyler, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Mikhail Ostrogradsky, James Clark Ross, Božena Němcová, Alfred I, Prince of Windisch-Grätz, Fromental Halévy, and Karl Nesselrode.

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In United States

Among people born in United States, Henry David Thoreau ranks 70 out of 20,380Before him are Stanley Kubrick (1928), Bill Gates (1955), Danny DeVito (1944), James Stewart (1908), George H. W. Bush (1924), and Charles Lindbergh (1902). After him are Helen Keller (1880), Jack London (1876), Toni Morrison (1931), Patrick Swayze (1952), Bill Clinton (1946), and Theodore Roosevelt (1858).

Among WRITERS In United States

Among writers born in United States, Henry David Thoreau ranks 7Before him are Edgar Allan Poe (1809), Ernest Hemingway (1899), H. P. Lovecraft (1890), F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896), Mark Twain (1835), and Robert Frost (1874). After him are Jack London (1876), Toni Morrison (1931), Stephen King (1947), Dr. Seuss (1904), William Faulkner (1897), and J. D. Salinger (1919).