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Thoreau’s Wildflowers and Animals

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Registration is NOT required
Free and open to the public

Thoreau’s Wildflowers and Animals

Geoff Wisner

Many of the most vivid writings in Henry David Thoreau’s journals were inspired by the plants and animals that inhabit the sprawling fields, forests, and wetlands of Concord and nearby communities. An inveterate year-round rambler and keen and thoughtful observer, Thoreau wrote frequently about these creatures, faithfully recording each sighting or encounter with the accuracy of a scientist and the deep spirituality of a transcendentalist and mystic.

In this lecture, Geoff Wisner will present Thoreau’s profound spirituality and belief in the earth-human connection as revealed through his explorations of Thoreau’s best nature writings.

Geoff Wisner is a writer and editor of Thoreau’s Wildflowers and its companion Thoreau’s Animals, volumes of Thoreau’s nature writings arranged by day of the year to follow the progress of the changing seasons. Thoreau’s Animals contains a selection of the author’s original sketchbook drawings along with 35 exquisite illustrations by naturalist and artist Debby Cotter Kaspari. Wisner has contributed to publications including the Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal, and Wild Earth. A graduate of Harvard University, he lives in New York City.

This event is held in celebration of the bicentennial of Henry David Thoreau’s birth. For more events celebrating Thoreau’s 200th birthday, visit

Schedule an appointment in the Vershbow Special Collections Reading Room to review Men of Concord and Some Others as Portrayed in the Journal of Henry David Thoreau, edited by Francis H. Allen and illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. Plate V in the book, entitled “Mr. Alcott in the Granary Burying Ground in Boston,” is taken from the Wyeth’s painting of the same title, which the Athenæum holds in its Paintings & Sculpture Collection.