Friday, November 06, 2009

Thoreau Mental Floss

In my latest post about John Brown I linked to and quoted from Henry David Thoreau's "A Plea for Captain John Brown."  A little later I was scanning through the mental_floss blog when I ran across "3 Bizarre Cases of Death by Shaving."  Death by shaving?  Wow!  The first guy contracted anthrax from the badger brush the barber used.  The second guy was nicked by a barber and ended up dying of severe edema.  The third guy was John Thoreau...
John Thoreau was the brother of famous American writer and Transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau. In the winter of 1841, while taking part in his daily shave, John Thoreau cut himself with his razor. A few days later he came down with lockjaw and died in Henry David’s arms. His brother’s death devastated Thoreau. He didn’t talk to his family or write in his journal for weeks.

Thoreau’s good friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson, suggested that he go spend some time out in the woods alone near a pond called Walden. Thoreau took this sage advice, and one of America’s greatest essays was born. All thanks to shaving.

As Paul Harvey might say, "...and now you know...the rest of the story."

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