The following events are FREE. RSVP appreciated but not required.
Edgar Allan Poe vs. Transcendentalism
Thursday, October 23 at 7 P.M.
Boston-born author Edgar Allan Poe had a bone to pick with the literary culture of Boston – especially Transcendentalism. Hear Poe himself (portrayed by literary historian Rob Velella) as he offers his critical opinion of Ralph Waldo Emerson and his followers, as well as some of his satirical stories about the movement.
The story unfolds against the ferment of natural science in the nineteenth century, as Natural Theology gave way to modern secular science. Thorson demonstrates just how close Thoreau came to discovering a “theory of everything” that could have explained most of the landscape he saw from the doorway of his cabin at Walden. At pivotal moments in his career, Thoreau encountered the work of the geologist Charles Lyell and that of his protege Charles Darwin. Thorson concludes that the inevitable path of Thoreau’s thought was descendental, not transcendental, as he worked his way downward through the complexity of life to its inorganic origin, the living rock.
Robert M. Thorson is Professor of Geology at the University of Connecticut. He is also the author of Stone by Stone: The Magnificent History in New England’s Stone Walls and Beyond Walden: The Hidden History of America’s Kettle Lakes and Ponds.
Thoreau on Wolf Hill – A Henry David Thoreau Mystery
Sunday, November 9 at 2 P.M.
B.B. Oak returns to Thoreau Farm with the second book in the Henry David Thoreau Mystery series – Thoreau on Wolf Hill.
In Thoreau on Wolf Hill, the winter of 1847 has brought a consumption (tuberculosis) epidemic which is devastating the village of Plumford, Massachusetts. In an atmosphere of increasing hysteria and superstition, country doctor Adam Walker and philosopher Henry David Thoreau seem the only voices of reason.
The winter also brings two visitors to Plumford. Solomon Wiley hails from Rhode Island and offers his services as a vampyre hunter, insisting that the scourge is supernatural in origin. At the same time, Adam’s cousin Julia has returned home from France, mysteriously without her new husband.
When a former student of Thoreau is found mutilated and drained of blood in the woods, Wiley insists that a legendary Indian vampyre has arisen.
Dismissing the blustering fearmonger, Thoreau and Adam follow clues to the backstage world of a Boston theater, the smoky decadence of an opium den, and an Indian burial ground. Both men will need to keep their wits about them – or risk ending up in coffins of their own…