“Would Walden (Henry D. Thoreau’s autobiography) benefit from more background on Thoreau’s life?”
In Walden there is not even one page in which Thoreau describes his early life, family (parents and siblings), education, work, etc…. He doesn’t give any background information whatsoever. Therefore, it is hard to know why certain later experiences affected him; why he made certain decisions; why he had certain philosophies.
I definitely think that Walden would benefit greatly from more background information on Thoreau, especially because it is an autobiography.