On today’s show, our guest is Robert M. Thorson, author of Walden’s Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science (Harvard University Press, paperback August 2015). Thorson is a geologist who decided to read Thoreau’s classic literary work for its observations about nature. He argues that Thoreau was as skilled a naturalist as he was a writer. Later in the hour, contributing editor Erin Blakemore talks about what’s happened to the remains of the Romanovs.

Music this hour: