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This book explores the theoretical relationship between feminism and transcendentalism through the ideas and activism of prominent 19th century female thinkers and activists. By analyzing the work of such important figures in post-Civil War American intellectual life_such as Ednah Cheney, Caroline Dall, Margaret Fuller, and Elizabeth Oakes Smith_Tiffany Wayne demonstrates how transcendentalism provided a language with particular appeal to women and helped promote an emerging feminist movement with a similar goal of acknowledging women's right to self-development. Bridging the gap between the traditionally disparate fields of women's history and American intellectual history, this book is as much a re-visioning of transcendentalism_arguing for recognition of its more widespread and long-lasting influence in American cultural life_as a project in historicizing feminist theory.
Chapter 1 Introduction: The Transcendental Arc Chapter 2 "The Seeds of Thought": The Feminist Reform Vision of Margaret Fuller Chapter 3 "Woman's Right to Think": Transcendentalism in the Organized Women's Movement Chapter 4 "A Woman's Life and Work": Self-Culture, Vocation, and the Female Intellectual Chapter 5 The Concord School of Philosophy and the Feminization of Transcendentalism after the Civil War Chapter 6 Epilogue: Feminism and American Intellectual History