Derrick Ceyrac/AFP/Getty Images
Courtesy of Knopf

The works of Henry David Thoreau have influenced generations of readers, but Thoreau himself wasn't always celebrated. His schoolmates and neighbors found him standoffish and regarded his fascination with plants and Indian relics as downright odd. AP hide caption

toggle caption AP

Detail from the cover of The Empire of Necessity. Courtesy of Metropolitan Books hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Metropolitan Books

Illustration of woman and books. Nishant Choksi hide caption

toggle caption Nishant Choksi
Iryna Denysova/iStockphoto
Courtesy of Other Press

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor