The Lives of Margaret Fuller: A Biography

The Lives of Margaret Fuller: A Biography

by John Matteson


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

Abrilliant writer and a fiery social critic, Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) was perhaps the most famous American woman of her generation. Outspoken and quick-witted, idealistic and adventurous, she became the leading female figure in the transcendentalist movement, wrote a celebrated column of literary and social commentary for Horace Greeley’s newspaper, and served as the first foreign correspondent for an American newspaper. While living in Europe she fell in love with an Italian nobleman, with whom she became pregnant out of wedlock. In 1848 she joined the fight for Italian independence and, the following year, reported on the struggle while nursing the wounded within range of enemy cannons. Amid all these strivings and achievements, she authored the first great work of American feminism: Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Despite her brilliance, however, Fuller suffered from self-doubt and was plagued by ill health. John Matteson captures Fuller’s longing to become ever better, reflected by the changing lives she led.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393343595
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/21/2013
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 981,209
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

John Matteson was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for Eden’s Outcasts and is also the author of The Lives of Margaret Fuller, which received the Ann M. Sperber Prize for Best Biography of a Journalist. He has been a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and of the Leon Levy Center for Biography. He received the Distinguished Faculty Award of the John Jay College Alumni Association and the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Achievement from the Columbia University School of Arts and Sciences. Distinguished Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, he lives in the Bronx.

Table of Contents

Prologue xi

Chapter 1 Prodigy 1

Chapter 2 Misfit 32

Chapter 3 " Margaret Goodchild" 61

Chapter 4 Apostle 102

Chapter 5 Conversationalist 139

Chapter 6 Ecstatic Editor 170

Chapter 7 Seeker Of Utopia 206

Chapter 8 Advocate 247

Chapter 9 Lover And Critic 272

Chapter 10 Internationalist 307

Chapter 11 Inamorata 332

Chapter 12 Revolutionary 355

Chapter 13 Victim 396

Epilogue Margaret-Ghost 424

Acknowledgments 447

Notes 449

Additional Sources 495

Index 497

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The Lives of Margaret Fuller: A Biography 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Marilise More than 1 year ago
Frankly, I wasn’t too interested in Transcendentalists and didn’t know much about Margaret Fuller before reading this. I bought it because Eden’s Outcasts, the author’s previous book, was a favorite (and won a much-deserved Pulitzer Prize for Biography). So I settled in for a nice winter’s read—page after page of prize-winning prose. I got that. But after a few dozen pages of reliably gorgeous writing, I realized that Mr. Matteson was using his 19th-century heroine to open debate on very 21-century issues: why accomplishment in a woman is invariably perceived as arrogance; the power of a parent to push a child’s development; intellectual disparity between partners; how “plain women” were perceived then and now. Mr. Matteson deserves another Pulitzer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago