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July 12, 2013 marks the 196th birthday of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862),  an American author, poet, philosopher, naturalist, surveyor, historian, and much more. Today,Thoreau is best remembered for his book Walden (1854), a memoir of living in the woods, close to nature. (Read more at Wikipedia.)

During his brief life — he passed away at age 44 — Thoreau spent much of his time writing, leaving behind an extensive body of work.

A written word is…the work of art nearest to life itself. It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips; not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself.”