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Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist and poet, commonly known as the “the hermit of Walden.” Thoreau did not intend to live as a hermit and actually accepted guests, he simply hoped to isolate himself away from society to give himself a more objective understanding of the world.

His project in the woods of Walden was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy.  What is transcendentalism you ask? According to the fantastic Internets, Transcendentalism is…

“A 19th-century idealistic philosophical and social movement that taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity.”

                                         or

“Ambitious and imaginative vagueness in thought, imagery, or diction.”

                                         or

“A philosophy that asserts the primacy of the spiritual and transcendental over the material and empirical.”

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