About half a million people visit Walden Pond State Reservation annually. Many come because of Henry David Thoreau’s book, “Walden,” which remains at least as popular as it was one hundred and fifty years ago.
Why does Thoreau continue to resonate with readers? And how did a pond that Thoreau himself admitted was ordinary inspire such extraordinary writing?
The new “Guide to Walden Pond,” connects the dots between the book and the place. It’s written by Robert Thorson – a professor at the University of Connecticut and a long-time tour guide for Thoreau’s Concord.
The book started out as an online pamphlet that got very popular. So popular, that Thorson’s wife suggested he make it a book.
“I was absolutely stunned… that there wasn’t one,” Thorson said.
The book is a narrative journey that makes a complete loop around the pond, going back in time to Thoreau’s world, and returning to the modern world again, Thorson said.
“Every time I read 'Walden,' I'm very taken with how he captures the sense of place,” he said.