Bring History to Life with Henry David Thoreau

Meet and talk with Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden and "Civil Disobedience," in his cabin at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts--or arrange for a guided tour of Walden Pond, or a visit by Henry to your classroom or special event!

Henry (born 1817, died 1862) was a philosopher, writer, naturalist, surveyor and pencil-maker. He was a friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott, and one of Concord's most unusual citizens. Learn more about Henry David Thoreau.

Historian Brent Ranalli has been active in Thoreau studies since 2009 and has been portraying Henry David Thoreau for children and adults since 2018. He is available for performances in Eastern Massachusetts, and beyond as well by special arrangement.

Brent is a member of SoloTogether, Boston's association of living history performers. Check out their extensive roster of historical personalities and one-man/one-woman shows.

Brent Ranalli as Henry David Thoreau

Classroom Visits

Schedule a visit by Henry to your classroom. The performance or conversation can be integrated into curricula on writing, U.S. history, nature study, and more.

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At Walden Pond

Check upcoming performances for opportunities to meet Henry at the cabin replica by Walden Pond, or contact Brent to arrange for a guided tour.

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Special Events

Meet Henry at other events in and around Concord (see upcoming performances), or book an event of your own.

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Clients / hosts include:

  • Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation / Walden Pond State Reservation
  • Trustees of Reservations / The Old Manse
  • Walden Woods Project / Thoreau Institute
  • Acton-Boxborough Public Schools
  • Tewksbury Public Library
  • Tufts University

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