Prof. Sandra Petrulionis: “Her Finer Instincts”: The Women in Thoreau’s Life

Date(s) - 10/20/17 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Location: First Parish in Concord

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Thoreau isn’t usually known for flattering comments about women. Yet during his life, he enjoyed close relations with many women of all ages, including his sisters Sophia and Helen Thoreau; his several aunts; the wives and daughters of friends, such as Lidian, Ellen, and Edith Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott; and elderly mentors like Mary Moody Emerson and Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley. From studies of natural history and philosophical readings, to antislavery activism and surrogate parenting, Thoreau’s friendship with these and other women was both profound and mutually inspiring. Find out what Thoreau valued in these relationships and what these women said about his influential role in their lives and in their community.

Prof. Petrulionis is Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona. Among other works, she is the author of To Set This World Right: The Antislavery Movement in Thoreau’s Concord and the editor of Thoreau In His Own Time. With Dr. Noelle Baker, she is currently editing The Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson: A Scholarly Digital Edition.

Suggested donation: $5 at the door.