The Quotable Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) ~ Sleepy Hollow Cemetery ~ Concord, Massachusetts

Last year in June I wrote a blog about Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts, which originally included a quote mistakenly attributed to Henry David Thoreau. Jeff Cramer, an editor who works at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, took the time to comment on my blog and kindly called my attention to the error, which I was happy to correct.

On Thursday, June 16th of this year Jeff will be presenting a reading from and a discussion of a new book he has edited, The Quotable Thoreau. Wish I could go, but I will add the book to my Kindle and be there in spirit.

One page on the Thoreau Institute website I find very illuminating is The Henry D. Thoreau Mis-Quotation Page, which takes note of quotations either misquoted or erroneously attributed to Thoreau. Very helpful!

Another treasure trove for this quote collector!

16 thoughts on “The Quotable Thoreau”

  1. Barbara, that is such an interesting link! Now I’m wondering if there are other much loved and often used ideas and quotes that are mis-attributed. And how much, in the long run, it truly matters…….
    I suppose not so much to us, the readers and users of these words of wisdom and inspiration. But from the author’s side of the fence…….

    I have learned so much here, thanks to you and your wonderful blogs! There is always something fascinating to explore……

    1. Colleen, I think I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to giving credit where credit is due – if words and pictures can be attributed to the correct person I think the effort should be made to do so! Found this site this morning – looks like a good idea: http://linkwithlove.typepad.com/linkwithlove/

      Thank you for your kind words about my blog! I do seem to be all over the map and without a definite theme. 🙂 Perhaps my tag line should be, as Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

  2. Barbara as always I loved the photo. What a simple grave surrounded by pine needles and dirt.

    Thanks for including the link. I could spend days reading all the quotes and the quotes of quotes… Good gracious how could one man be misquoted so many times?
    I wonder, as Colleen said in her comment “does it matter to anyone except the author?”

    1. There was such a feeling of peace in that cemetery. The transcendentalists were unpretentious and informal and all their graves seemed to reflect that, and of course their love of nature.

      My guess is that the more one loves and resonates with the writings of a particular author, the more it matters that he or she is not misquoted!

    1. Thanks, Laurie! Just the sort of grave one would expect to find for the man who wrote, “beware of all enterprises that require new clothes!”

    1. You’re welcome, Jeff! Wishing you a great night and warm reception Thursday evening! I’m already half way through your book (it’s on my Kindle!) and am enjoying the selection of not-so-well-known quotes. What a fascinating, and at times very opinionated, man!

  3. The simplicity of the grave struck me as beautiful, too, and it’s wonderful to imagine that squirrels may have brought the pine cones there.

    Your post is a great reminder to double-check the quotes we use. Thanks Barbara!

    1. We did see a lot of squirrel activity there that day! Mother Nature’s presence was strongly felt and the words of Emerson so appropriate for the place…
      “In this quiet valley, as in the palm of Nature’s hand, we shall sleep well, when we have finished our day.”
      ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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