Helen Nearing

Helen Knothe Nearing (February 23, 1904 – September 17, 1995) was an American author and advocate of simple living.

Helen Knothe was the daughter of Frank Knothe who had a clothing business in New Jersey.[1] She grew up in an economically comfortable family of Theosophists.[2]

As a young woman, she had a romantic relationship with Jiddu Krishnamurti.[2]

She and Scott Nearing started a relationship in 1928 and married nearly 20 years later, on December 12, 1947.[3] The couple lived in rural Vermont where they grew much of their food and erected nine stone buildings over the course of two decades. They earned money by producing maple syrup and sugar from the trees on their land and from Scott Nearing's occasional paid lectures.[4]

In 1952, Helen and Scott Nearing moved to a homestead in Brooksville, Maine, on Cape Rosier, where they continued growing much of their own food.[5] They cultivated blueberries as a cash crop.[6]

Helen Nearing died in 1995 as the result of a single-car accident in Harborside, Maine.[7][8]

Published works

Co-authored with Scott Nearing


  1. Lutyens, p138
  2. 1 2 Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening by Mary Lutyens, London: John Murray, 1975.
  3. Margaret Killinger The Good Life of Helen K. Nearing, 2007.
  4. Nearing, The Making of a Radical, pg. 47.
  5. Nearing and Nearing, The Good Life, pg. 223-224.
  6. Nearing and Nearing, The Good Life, pg. 286.
  7. McQuiston, John (September 19, 1995). "Helen K. Nearing, Maine Writer, Dies at 91". The New York Times.
  8. Boyd, Stephany (September 18, 1995). "Author Helen Nearing dies in car crash". Bangor Daily News.
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