Henry David Thoreau is famous as the author of /Walden/ (1854), /The Maine Woods/ (1864), and other classics of American transcendental literature. Less well known is his work as a land surveyor in Concord, Mass., work that allowed him to examine nature at length and in detail. Still unexamined is his interest in the early European maps of North America. Thoreau gave a brief history of the mapping of New England in his /Cape Cod/ (1865). He also carefully redrew to scale maps by Champlain, Wytfliet, Ortelius, and other early writers on the New World for his unpublished ďCanadianĒ and ďIndianĒ notebooks. Mr. Hesslerís recent identification of two copies of Champlainís maps as being Thoreauís handiwork has led him to investigate this hitherto unappreciated aspect of Thoreauís life and works, and to locate other map copies by Thoreau now missing from the notebooks. These cartographic explorations, especially with respect to the recording of indigenous toponyms, informed Thoreauís notions of the American wilderness and his environmental imagination. This lecture is the first public presentation of this exciting, new research.
7pm, 16 October 2009. Hannaford Lecture Hall, Abromson Center, University of Southern Maine (Portland Campus). Free; open to the public
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