The two years Thoreau spent at Walden Pond and the night he spent in the Concord jail are among the most familiar features of the American intellectual landscape. In this new biography, based on a reexamination of Thoreau's manuscripts and on a retracing of his trips, Robert Richardson offers a view of Thoreau's life and achievement in their full nineteenth century context.
Robert D. Richardson, Jr. is the author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire (California, 1995) among other books.
"Absorbing and sparklingly fresh biography. "--Publishers Weekly "A prose style graceful and lucid enough to survive side by side comparison with Thoreau's own epigrammatic brilliance."--Booklist "The arc of Thoreau's progress is more absorbing than any thriller .... This is a splendidly written book, handsomely designed and illustrated by Barry Moser and worthy of a place on the bookshelf near Walden."--Robert Taylor, The Boston Globe "Richardson's book is the best introduction and guide to Thoreau's thought that we are likely to obtain. It leads us to re-read Thoreau [and] to recognize that we are hearing a unique, and perhaps essential, American voice." --Frank McConnell, Wilson Quarterly
1986 Melcher Book Award, United Universalist Association