To get a sense of some of the ground this discussion might cover, take “A Walk in the Woods with Robert Richardson,” a 2014 episode of Christopher Lydon’s Radio Open Source.
Robert D. Richardson, Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind:
An intellectual biography in narrative form of the life of Thoreau. Designed and illustrated by Barry Moser. Winner of the Melcher Prize, the Forest History Society Prize and the Colorado Seminars Prize, this book, along with the same author’s Emerson: the Mind on Fire and his William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism, has been called by John Banville “one of the glories of contemporary American literature.
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 retracing his trips, Robert Richardson offers a view of Thoreau’s life and achievements in their full nineteenth-century context.
Robert D. Richardson, Emerson: The Mind on Fire:
An intellectual biography, written for the general reader as well as the academic reader. Edward Hirsch, reviewing it for the New Yorker (July 10, 1995) said it was “the first biography that locates the source of Emerson’s volcanic power in his emotional depth and searing intellectual intensity.” The book won the Parkman Prize from the Society of American historians, and the Melcher prize. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. David Robinson predicted the book “will quickly come to be regarded as the definitive biography of Emerson.” Mary Oliver wrote, “to read this book is to be touched on the shoulder by a thousand years of poetry and thought.”
For tickets and additional information, please visit the Concord Museum.