Neville, Caitlyn. “A Short Cultural History of the Thoreau Society”, Boston College, 2022. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:109423.
The Thoreau Society is the oldest literary society for an American author in the United States, as well as an important force for environmental preservation in Concord, Massachusetts. Since its founding in 1941 the society has used Thoreau's texts, philosophy, and character to bring people together and, during the 1950s, save Walden Pond from future development. In doing so I argue the society essentially bridged literature and environmentalism in a way that created tangible change. Though they are a complicated group that can and should be seen from a critical lens, their triumphs speak to a broader connection between writing and preservation that alters how present-day readers view Thoreau's work. Thus, the thesis will demonstrate how examining the origins, dynamics, tactics, motivations, and achievements of the society grants a clearer understanding not just of how Walden Pond came to be preserved in Concord, but how Thoreau has come to exist in a modern light.