Sometimes called the first environmentalist, Thoreau, born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts, was mentored by the Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Bronson Alcott, his neighbors. His book Walden, about the two years he spent living in a hut he had built himself on Emerson’s woodlot at Walden Pond, has become a classic of American literature for its introspection blended with natural history. His Civil Disobedience, written as an explanation of his non-payment of taxes as a protest against the Mexican-American war, is still influential, and his books on his journeys to Maine, Canada and Cape Cod go much deeper than mere travelogues. Thoreau is also credited with the invention of raisin bread.
Jay DiPrima will read from Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience at seven o’clock next Thursday evening at the Sawyer Free Library as part of the Gloucester Lyceum Series.