The Boatman

Robert M Thorson


We send all orders via Royal Mail: within the UK, choose from 1st Class, 2nd Class or Special Delivery; for the rest of the world, International Standard or International Tracked. Delivery and packaging charges are calculated automatically at the checkout.

To collect orders in person from the Bookshop, choose Click and Collect at the checkout.

Harvard University Press
26 April 2019
ISBN: 9780674237414
336 pages

From the publisher

As a backyard naturalist and river enthusiast, Henry David Thoreau was keenly aware of the many ways in which humans had altered the waterways and meadows of his beloved Concord River Valley. A land surveyor by trade, he recognized that he was as complicit in these transformations as the bankers, builders, and elected officials who were his clients. The Boatman reveals the depth of his knowledge about the river as it elegantly chronicles his move from anger to lament to acceptance of how humans had changed a place he cherished even more than Walden Pond.

"A scrupulous account of the environment Thoreau loved most... Thorson argues convincingly-sometimes beautifully-that Thoreau's thinking and writing were integrally connected to paddling and sailing."
-Wall Street Journal

"An in-depth account of Thoreau's lifelong love of boats, his skill as a navigator, his intimate knowledge of the waterways around Concord, and his extensive survey of the Concord River."
-Robert Pogue Harrison, New York Review of Books

"An impressive feat of empirical important contribution to the scholarship on Thoreau as natural scientist."
-Los Angeles Review of Books

"The Boatman presents a whole new Thoreau-the river rat. This is not just groundbreaking, but fun."
-David Gessner, author of All the Wild That Remains