Walking Towards Walden: A Pilgrimage in Search of Place
John Hanson MitchellPaper: $22.95
Mitchell, naturalist and author of Living at the End of Time, decided to hike to the grave of Thoreau from Concord, Massachusetts, burial site of a member of the party of Sir Henry Sinclair, a 16th-century Scottish explorer, in an attempt to learn more about that famous landscape. Avoiding most roads and accompanied by two eccentric friends on the 15-mile walk, the author investigates a wide variety of related topics, including natural history of the area, mythology, and related literature. One of the most interesting aspects of this pilgrimage is the variety of personal histories related by local residents encountered on the trek. Recommended for local and larger natural-history collections.
This is surely John Mitchell’s best book, and he is one of the most intriguing, original nature writers alive. It’s a jaunt through history and ecology, a spirited personal memoir, a saunter in Thoreau’s richly diverse sense of the word. Top-notch.
—Edward Hoagland, author of Compass Points: How I Lived
JOHN HANSON MITCHELL is the author of five books based on a single square mile known as Scratch Flat, as well as two travel books and the biography of the early African American landscape photographer Robert A. Gilbert. A winner of the John Burroughs Award for his nature essays, Mitchell was founder and editor of Sanctuary magazine, published by the Massachusetts Audubon Society. In 2000 he won the New England Book Award in nonfiction for his Scratch Flat series. He lives in Littleton, Massachusetts, the location of Scratch Flat.