The Lives of Margaret Fuller: A Biography
  • The Lives of Margaret Fuller: A Biography
  • The Lives of Margaret Fuller: A Biography

The Lives of Margaret Fuller: A Biography

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by John Matteson

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“Psychologically rich. . . . Matteson’s book restores the heroism of [Fuller’s] life and work.”—The New YorkerSee more details below


“Psychologically rich. . . . Matteson’s book restores the heroism of [Fuller’s] life and work.”—The New Yorker

Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe
“Matteson’s portrait of Fuller, given depth and sheen by a treasure trove of letters, is unfailingly intelligent, nuanced and intriguing.”
New York Times
“Well-written. . . . [Readers] will admire her spirit, intellect, and courage.”
Wall Street Journal
“John Matteson performs a service in producing a . . . biography that will introduce this learned, prolific and eccentric American to a wider audience.”
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“[Matteson’s] writing seems to derive palpable energy from Fuller’s own dynamism. . . . In the end he discovers a Fuller that is startlingly modern in her contradictions and commitments.”
Joanna Scutts
Matteson skillfully fills in the political and cultural background to Fuller's shape-shifting life, and sketches the biographies of the hundreds of renowned and obscure figures with whom she conversed, exchanged letters and shared ideas. The result is a substantial and satisfying biography, which brings Fuller's life back into popular view without simplifying her diverse and extraordinary achievements.
—The Washington Post
Mary Beth Norton
“In the title of his well-written book, Matteson refers to the "lives" of Margaret Fuller because, he explains, she continually reinvented herself over the course of her lifetime.”
Robert Ferguson
“The great strength of John Matteson’s biography lies in his ability to place Margaret Fuller against the social milieu that both made her possible and got in her way. We see, as never before, a life constantly moving onto new ground.”
Library Journal
Margaret Fuller, associate of Emerson, Hawthorne, and the other Concord intellectuals and most famous for her Woman in the Nineteenth Century as well as for her tragic death, was a determined and brilliant woman who struggled to find her place in the 19th-century world. In this extensive biography, Pulitzer Prize winner Matteson (English, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice, CUNY; Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father) not only gives the reader a clearer understanding of Fuller, but also draws a fairly complete picture of her environment and time. Among the many Fuller biographies, this work distinguishes itself by accomplishing the difficult task of making the subject come to life. Through Matteson's easy narrative style and presentation of Fuller "as a series of identities," readers can begin to understand her drive and her flaws. VERDICT The work is well written, easily accessible, and entertaining. Prior knowledge of Fuller is not necessary to enjoy it. A great read for anyone interested in extraordinary women in our literary and women's history. [See Prepub Alert, 7/11/11.]—Paolina Taglienti, Everest Coll.-Henderson, Las Vegas

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Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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