Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau
Illustrated talk by Ben Shattuck
Hosted by HLFM director Pierce Rafferty
On an autumn morning in 1849, Henry David Thoreau stepped out his front door to walk the beaches of Cape Cod. Over a century and a half later, Ben Shattuck does the same. With little more than a loaf of bread, brick of cheese, and a notebook, Shattuck sets out to retrace Thoreau’s path through the Cape’s outer beaches, from the elbow to Provincetown’s fingertip.
Named a Must Read Book of Spring 2022 by Town & Country Magazine and a Most Anticipated Book of the Year at The Rumpus, Six Walks tells of six journeys taken by Shattuck, each one inspired by a walk once taken by Henry David Thoreau. After the Cape, Shattuck goes up Mount Katahdin and Mount Wachusett, down the coastline of his hometown, and then through the Allagash. Along the way, Shattuck encounters unexpected characters, landscapes, and stories, seeing for himself the restorative effects that walking can have on a dampened spirit. Intimate, entertaining, and beautifully crafted, Six Walks is a resounding tribute to the ways walking in nature can inspire us all.