The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau Dunshee Ambrotype of Thoreau, 1861 (Courtesy Concord Museum)
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"Double row of Arbor Vitae, near Battle Ground, May 18, 1902" (Courtesy Concord Free Public Library)
Frequently Asked Questions
Life and Times of Henry David Thoreau
Reflections on Walden
Further Reading

Books about Thoreau

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Biographical Works

Michael Benjamin Berger, Thoreau's Late Career and "The Dispersion of Seeds": The Saunterer's Synoptic Vision (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2000).

Raymond R. Borst, The Thoreau Log: A Documentary Life of Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862 (New York: G. K. Hall & Co., 1992).

Richard Bridgman, Dark Thoreau (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982).

William Ellery Channing, Thoreau: The Poet-Naturalist (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1873).

Walter Harding, The Days of Henry Thoreau (New York: Knopf, 1965).

_______________, Henry David Thoreau: A Profile (New York: Hill and Wang, 1971).

Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail (New York: Hill and Wang, 1970).

Richard Lebeaux, Thoreau's Seasons (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1984).

_______________, Young Man Thoreau (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1984).

Sherman Paul, The Shores of America: Thoreau's Inward Exploration (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1958).

Robert D. Richardson, Jr., Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986).

Kenneth Allen Robinson, Thoreau and the Wild Appetite (New York: AMS Press, 1957).

Henry S. Salt, Life of Henry David Thoreau (London: Richard Bentley, 1890).

F. B. Sanborn, The Life of Henry David Thoreau (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1917).

Richard J. Schneider, Henry David Thoreau (Boston: Twayne, 1987).

Edmund A. Schofield and Robert C. Baron, eds., Thoreau's World and Ours: A Natural Legacy (Golden, CO: North American Press, 1993).

Harmon Smith, My Friend, My Friend: The Story of Thoreau's Relationship with Emerson (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999).

Richard Stowell, A Thoreau Gazetteer, edited by William L. Howarth (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970).

Mark Van Doren, Henry David Thoreau: A Critical Study (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1916).

Interpretations of Principal Works

Stephen Adams and Donald Ross, Jr., Revising Mythologies: The Composition of Thoreau's Major Works (Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 1988).

William E. Cain, ed., A Historical Guide to Henry David Thoreau (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Stanley Cavell, The Senses of Walden (New York: The Viking Press, 1972; San Francisco: North Point Press, 1981; expanded edition, University of Chicago Press, 1992).

Joel Myerson, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Henry David Thoreau (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

_______________, ed., Critical Essays on Henry David Thoreau's Walden (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1988).

H. Daniel Peck, Thoreau's Morning Work: Memory and Perception in A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, The Journal, and Walden (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990).

Robert F. Sayre, ed., New Essays on Walden (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

Richard J. Schneider, ed., Approaches to Teaching Thoreau's Walden and Other Works (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1996).

J. Lyndon Shanley, The Making of Walden, with Text of the First Version (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957).

Raymond P. Tripp, Jr., Two Fish on One Hook (Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Books, 1998).

Thoreau and Native Americans

Richard F. Fleck, ed., The Indians of Thoreau: Selections from the Indian Notebooks (Albuquerque, NM: Hummingbird Press, 1974).

Suzanne Dvorak Rose, Tracking the Moccasin Print: A Descriptive Index to Henry David Thoreau's Indian Notebooks and a Study of the Relationship of the Indian Notebooks to Mythmaking in Walden (Ph.D. diss., University of Oklahoma, 1994).

Robert F. Sayre, Thoreau and the American Indians (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977).

Thoreau and Philosophy

Alfred I. Tauber, Henry David Thoreau and the Moral Agency of Knowing (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).

Daniel A. Dombrowski, Thoreau the Platonist (New York: Peter Lang, 1986).

Thoreau and Place

Alexander B. Adams, ed., Thoreau's Guide to Cape Cod (New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1962).

Dona Budd, ed., Thoughts from Walden Pond, photographs by Charles Gurche (San Francisco: Pomegranate, 1998).

Adam Gamble, In the Footsteps of Thoreau: 25 Historic & Nature Walks on Cape Cod (Yarmouth Port, MA: On Cape Publications, 1997).

William L. Howarth, ed. Walking with Thoreau: A Literary Guide to the Mountains of New England (Boston: Beacon Press, 2001).

_______________, ed., Thoreau in the Mountains: Writings by Henry David Thoreau (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1982).

Stephen Mulloney, Traces of Thoreau: A Cape Cod Journey (Boston: Northeastern University, 1998).

Thoreau and Politics

Jane Bennett, Thoreau's Nature: Ethics, Politics, and the Wild (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1994).

Michael Meyer, Several More Lives to Live: Thoreau's Political Reputation in America (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977).

Jack Turner, ed., A Political Companion to Henry David Thoreau (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2009).

Thoreau and Science and the Environment

Daniel B. Botkin, No Man's Garden: Thoreau and a New Vision for Civilization and Nature (Washington, DC: Island Press/Shearwater Books, 2001).

Lawrence Buell, The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995).

David R. Foster, Thoreau's Country: Journey through a Transformed Landscape (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).

Laura Dassow Walls, Seeing New Worlds: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Natural Science (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995).

Thoreau and Society

Daniel Walker Howe, Henry David Thoreau on the Duty of Civil Disobedience: An Inaugural Lecture Delivered before the University of Oxford on 21 May 1990 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991).

Leonard Neufeldt, The Economist: Henry Thoreau and Enterprise (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989).

Richard F. Teichgraeber III, Sublime Thoughts/Penny Wisdom: Situating Emerson and Thoreau in the American Market (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1995).

Thoreau and Technology

Henry Petroski, The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance (New York: Knopf, 1990).

Thoreau and Transcendentalism

Lawrence Buell, Literary Transcendentalism: Style and Vision in the American Renaissance (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979).

_______________, New England Literary Culture from Revolution through Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986).

Charles Capper and Conrad Edick Wright, eds., Transient and Permanent: The Transcendentalist Movement and Its Contexts (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1999).

Joel Myerson, The Transcendentalists: A Review of Research and Criticism (New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1984).

Joel Porte, Emerson and Thoreau: Transcendentalists in Conflict (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1966).

F. B. Sanborn, Sixty Years of Concord, 1855-1915: Life, People, Institutions, and Transcendental Philosophy in Massachusetts, with Memories of Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, Channing, and Others (Hartford: Transcendental Books, 1976).

_______________, Transcendental and Literary New England: Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, Bryant, Whittier, Lowell, Longfellow, and Others (Hartford: Transcendental Books, 1975).

David C. Smith, The Transcendental Saunterer: Thoreau and the Search for Self (Savannah: Frederic C. Beil, 1997).

Michael West, Transcendental Wordplay: America's Romantic Punsters and the Search for the Language of Nature (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2000).

Thoreau's Reputation

Fritz Oehlschlager and George Hendrick, eds., Toward the Making of Thoreau's Modern Reputation: Selected Correspondence of S. A. Jones, A. W. Hosmer, H. S. Salt, H. G. O. Blake, and D. Ricketson (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1979).

Gary Scharnhorst, Henry David Thoreau: A Case Study in Canonization (Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1993).

Thoreau and Writing

Sharon Cameron, Writing Nature: Henry Thoreau's Journal (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985).

Richard Dillman, Essays on Henry David Thoreau: Rhetoric, Style and Audience (West Cornwall, CT: Locus Hill Press, 1993).

Steven Fink, Prophet in the Marketplace: Thoreau's Development as a Professional Writer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992).

Frederick Garber, Thoreau's Fable of Inscribing (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991).

Henry Golemba, Thoreau's Wild Rhetoric (New York: New York University Press, 1990).

William L. Howarth, The Book of Concord: Thoreau's Life as a Writer (New York: Viking Press, 1982).

Scott Slovic, Seeking Awareness in American Nature Writing: Henry Thoreau, Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey, Wendell Berry, Barry Lopez (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1992).

Richard Tuerk, Central Still: Circle and Sphere in Thoreau's Prose (The Hague: Mouton, 1975).


Raymond R. Borst, Henry David Thoreau: A Descriptive Bibliography (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982).

_______________, Henry David Thoreau: A Reference Guide, 1835-1899 (Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1987).

Walter Harding, ed., A Bibliography of the Thoreau Society Bulletin Bibliographies, 1941-1969: A Cumulation and Index (Troy, NY: The Whitston Publishing Company, 1971).

Walter Harding and Michael Meyer, The New Thoreau Handbook (New York: New York University Press, 1980).

William L. Howarth, The Literary Manuscripts of Henry David Thoreau (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1974).

Robert Sattelmeyer, Thoreau's Reading: A Study in Intellectual History with Bibliographical Catalogue (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988).

Gary Scharnhorst, Henry David Thoreau: An Annotated Bibliography of Comment and Criticism before 1900 (New York: Garland, 1992).

Elizabeth Hall Witherell, "Henry David Thoreau," in Richard Kopley, ed., Prospects for the Study of American Literature: A Guide for Scholars and Students (New York: New York University Press, 1997), 21-38.

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