The Adventures of Henry Thoreau: A Young Man's Unlikely Path to Walden Pond
Henry David Thoreau has long been an intellectual icon and folk hero. In this strikingly original profile, Michael Sims reveals how the bookish, quirky young man who kept quitting jobs evolved into the patron saint of environmentalism and nonviolent activism.
Working from nineteenth-century letters and diaries by Thoreau's family, friends, and students, Sims charts Henry's course from his time at Harvard through the years he spent living in a cabin beside Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.
Sims uncovers a previously hidden Thoreau-the rowdy boy reminiscent of Tom Sawyer, the sarcastic college iconoclast, the devoted son who kept imitating his beloved older brother's choices in life. Thoreau was deeply influenced by his parents-his father owned a pencil factory in Concord, his mother was an abolitionist and social activist-and by Ralph Waldo Emerson, his frequent mentor. Sims relates intimate, telling moments in Thoreau's daily life-in Emerson's library; teaching his neighbor and friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne, to row a boat; exploring the natural world and Native American culture; tutoring Emerson's nephew on Staten Island and walking the streets of New York in the hope of launching a writing career.
Returned from New York, Thoreau approached Emerson to ask if he could build a cabin on his mentor's land on the shores of Walden Pond, anticipating the isolation would galvanize his thoughts and actions. That it did. While at the cabin, he wrote his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers , and refined the journal entries that formed the core of Walden . Resisting what he felt were unfair taxes, he spent the night in jail that led to his celebrated essay "Civil Disobedience," which would inspire the likes of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
Chronicling Thoreau's youthful transformation, Sims reveals how this decade would resonate over the rest of his life, and thereafter throughout American literature and history.
|Grouped Work ID||d87036c7-913c-3aa4-102f-c0d93b5002a3|
|Grouping Title||adventures of henry thoreau a young mans unlikely path to walden pond|
|Grouping Author||sims michael|
|Last Grouping Update||2019-07-17 00:46:30AM|
|Last Indexed||2019-08-25 07:11:56AM|
|author||Sims, Michael, 1958-|
|available_at_jcfld||John C. Fremont Library District|
|detailed_location_jcfld||John C. Fremont Library District - Biography|
|display_description||"The Adventures of Henry Thoreau-chronicling the ten years in his life beginning with Harvard in 1837 and ending as he walked away from Walden Pond after living in his long dreamed-of cabin for only two years--tells the dramatic (and at times heartbreaking) story of how a troubled young man found a meaningful life in a tempestuous era"--|
|owning_library_jcfld||John C. Fremont Library District|
|owning_location_jcfld||John C. Fremont Library District|
Authors, American -- 19th century -- Biography
Naturalists -- United States -- Biography
Thoreau, Henry David, -- 1817-1862
|title_display||The Adventures of Henry Thoreau: A Young Man's Unlikely Path to Walden Pond|
|title_full||The Adventures of Henry Thoreau: A Young Man's Unlikely Path to Walden Pond by Michael Sims|
|title_short||The Adventures of Henry Thoreau: A Young Man's Unlikely Path to Walden Pond|
Thoreau, Henry David