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Expect Great Things: The Life and Search of Henry David Thoreau
by Devin Dann
400 pages
TarcherPerigee / Penguin Random House
Release Date: January 3, 2017

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This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau – a man who was born, died, and lived nearly his entire life, in Concord, Massachusetts. Two of the most well-remembered years of his life were those he spent in a house at Walden Pond (which inspired at least two publications, including the famous “Walden” published in 1854). This anniversary of Thoreau’s birth has also given rise to another biography of this great American essayist: Laura Dassow Walls’s “Henry David Thoreau: A Life” which will be published in July (on or about his actual birthday).

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From the Publisher:

To coincide with the bicentennial of Thoreau’s birth in 2017, this thrilling, meticulous biography by naturalist and historian Kevin Dann fills a gap in our understanding of one modern history’s most important spiritual visionaries by capturing the full arc of Thoreau’s life as a mystic, spiritual seeker, and explorer in transcendental realms.

This sweeping, epic biography of Henry David Thoreau sees Thoreau’s world as the mystic himself saw it: filled with wonder and mystery; Native American myths and lore; wood sylphs, nature spirits, and fairies; battles between good and evil; and heroic struggles to live as a natural being in an increasingly synthetic world.

Above all, Expect Great Things critically and authoritatively captures Thoreau’s simultaneously wild and intellectually keen sense of the mystical, mythical, and supernatural.

Other historians have skipped past or undervalued these aspects of Thoreau’s life. In this groundbreaking work, historian and naturalist Kevin Dann restores Thoreau’s esoteric visions and explorations to their rightful place as keystones of the man himself.”