A few years ago I went into a bookshop to buy a copy of Thoreau’s Walden (1854). I couldn’t find one, but the assistant could: in the fiction section. This may reflect the difficulty of classifying Thoreau. Was he a nature writer, a poet, a travel writer, a political thinker, even a philosopher – even all of these? Perhaps; but not, I am certain, a novelist! Thoreau’s works do not help to classify him. He wrote widely on a range of subjects.