Fuller, Margaret. (1810 - 1850).
L i f e
- a teacher, transl., editor, journalist, literary and social critic, feminist theorist and advocate, and poet
- received a rigorous education led by her father: studied the Bible, the classics, W. Shakespeare, English literature, modern languages (esp. German), and history
- edited the Transcendentalist magazine The Dial for two years, intended to stimulate the readership to thinking
- initiated the weekly ‘Conversations’ = meetings of women at the Boston home of the teacher Elizabeth Peabody to discuss various topics under Fuller’s intellectual leadership
- travelled Europe, met literary men, experienced the revolution in Italy, and converted to socialism
- only in Europe solved her life-long tension between being a woman x a writer, and fully discovered her both qualities
W o r k
C r i t i c i s m :
- wrote unfavourable literary-critical reviews on J. R. Lowell and H. W. Longfellow
- considered to rank with E. A. Poe as one of America’s first major literary critics
- also wrote socially critical essays: tackled controversial public issues including the neglect of the blind and the insane, the abuses of female prisoners, etc.
N o n - f i c t i o n :
“The Great Lawsuit: Man Versus Men. Woman Versus Women.” (1843):
- a tightly argued powerful essay, published in The Dial
- argues to free men and women from their social roles
- a woman <=> a slave
Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845):
- an expanded version of “The Great Lawsuit”
- laden with scholarly allusions
Summer on the Lakes (1844):
- a journal account of her trip to the Midwest
- an intellectual miscellany
> a model for H. D. Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
Papers on Literature and Art (1846):
= a collection of essays, published shortly before her departure for Europe
Life Without and Life Within (1858, posthumously):
= a collection of essays, poems, and reviews
Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852, posthumously):
= her life recreated by her friends R. W. Emerson, James Freeman Clarke, and W. H. Channing
(Picture: Wikimedia Commons).
Author(Sarah) Margaret Fuller (Ossoli). (1810 - 1850). American.
WorkTeacher. Critic. Journalist. The first American feminist.
GenresRomanticism. Transcendentalism. Essay. Travel writing.
Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.
Bercovitch, Sacvan, ed. The Cambridge History of American Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Cunliffe, Marcus. The Literature of the United States. London: Penguin, 1991.
Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1994.
McQuade, Donald, gen.ed. The Harper American Literature. New York: Harper & Collins, 1996.
Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.
Vančura, Zdeněk, ed. Slovník spisovatelů: Spojené státy americké. Praha: Odeon, 1979.
"What I mean by the Muse is that unimpeded clearness of the intuitive powers, which a perfectly truthful adherence to every admonition of the higher instincts would bring to a finely organized human being.... Should these faculties have free play, I believe they will open new, deeper and purer sources of joyous inspiration than have yet refreshed the earth".
From Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845).