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The Lives of Margaret Fuller By John Matteson,

  • Title: The Lives of Margaret Fuller
  • Author: John Matteson
  • ISBN: 9780393068054
  • Page: 486
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A brilliant 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 fA brilliant 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.
    The Lives of Margaret Fuller A brilliant writer and a fiery social critic Margaret Fuller was perhaps the most famous American woman of her generation Outspoken and quick witted idealistic and adventurous she became

    One thought on “The Lives of Margaret Fuller”

    1. I respected the scholarship behind this book, but it was a hard slog to get through it I m very familiar with Fuller, having done some serious research for a bio about her back when I was in the academic world in the late 1970s I have also greatly enjoyed several recent books about Emerson and Thoreau But somehow this book didn t connect with me at all The portrait it builds of Fuller is repellent She was very emotional in a way that was common at the time but doesn t read well now, so quoting h [...]

    2. One can hardly praise Matteson s narrative sufficiently The depth of his research is evident Yet his selection of telling detail is economical, and his presentation, interleaved with pertinent analysis, apposite conclusions and summations, is seamless and well paced, never interrupting his entirely engaging evocation of his subject an altogether remarkable person.I will say that Matteson s prose becomes a bit too purple in certain passages for my taste One quote suffices to make the point Regard [...]

    3. I read very few biographies, partly because so many are poorly written This one, however, was both well researched and well written, which is not too surprising since the biographer, Matteson, won the Pulitzer for his last book The author displayed quite a lot of psychological insight in his treatment of his subject, the complex Margaret Fuller A proto feminist icon and one of the great intellects of her day, she was a friend to Emerson, Thoreau, the elder Henry James, and many other famous pers [...]

    4. Margaret Fuller 1810 50 was the only woman to be included in the Concord circle of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorne The author of the groundbreaking Woman in the Nineteenth Century and a war correspondent for the New York Tribune, Fuller returned home from her adventures in Italy only to drown 250 yards from the shore of her native land She is a natural choice for biographers wanting to latch onto both a serious and sensational subject and several biographers have [...]

    5. What can you say about a woman who refused to be ordinary Matteson s story about Margaret Fuller is rich with reasons why this unique individual ought to be honored and respected for her self culture which drove her to make important contributions to the progress of humanity.

    6. In this title, John Matteson subtly states his thesis Margaret Fuller, through her many experiences, grew and changed so fundamentally that it was as if she had different lives.Her first life, under the tutelage of a tiger father , left her over educated with limited social skills As an awkward young woman, she faced not only social, but institutional bias Libraries and formal education were closed to her, but she made her way The intellectual skills she learned at her father s command propelled [...]

    7. Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli 1810 1850 was a leading writer of the nineteenth century Her father Timothy Fuller was an attorney and politician He demanded the best education of Margaret and her brother It was unusual for women to be educated at the time By her 30 s she was known as the best read person in New England She went on to be the editor of the magazine The Dial She was the only female in the Concord Circle along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry D Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson Alc [...]

    8. I m liking this introduction to one of the least known of transcendentalists Why unknown Because she was a woman.Se was a wunderkind student, coached by her father She was a misfit, unsurprisingly gauche and shunned by most of her contemporaries She did seem an intellectual powerhouse, but I m not sure I d enjoy reading her work now polite versifications probably don t hold up well.She took a trip to Chicago in 1840 s, and went out to the prairie She was quite taken with the wide expanse and fel [...]

    9. The end of Fuller s life in Italy, on the shipwreck at Fire Island was so fascinating and disturbing Enjoyed the book, made my peace with Matteson s rare overblown descriptions, and enjoyed learning about Fuller But, Matteson s book on the Alcotts was by far the better read, perhaps because the Alcotts are simply fascinating subjects However, Matteson is trying to respond to decades of misinformed or biased biographies of Fuller and that requires a level of detail that may not always be as exc [...]

    10. Of late, and for too long, the Muse has left me and I have found little inspiration to write extensive reviews of the books I ve been reading But as I ve given this one four stars, I d be remiss if I entirely neglected to explain why.I first became aware of Margaret Fuller s existence from a review in the New York Review of Books of one of the recent biographies that have come out and was intrigued whether this one or Megan Marshall s, I forget And when I came across this quote which graces my e [...]

    11. The core of Margaret s indictment that Emerson had failed to respond to her cry for a father confirms what others may already have assumed that she had sought in the Sage of Concord an idealized substitute for the demanding but oddly beloved sire whom cholera had stolen from her five years earlier But Fuller s hope for a second father explains only part of her anguish at not being received into Emerson s spiritual bosom The great remaining cause behind her agitation is revealed in her complaint [...]

    12. This thoroughly researched biography of Margaret Fuller is not for the faint hearted While the biography tells of her life from a detailed description of the demanding academic schooling she received from her father to her mother s preference for her siblings to her social awkwardness when she went to school, it also details her intellectual and philosophical development that includes in depth analysis of the differences between the philosophies of Goethe, Coleridge and Kant among others This ju [...]

    13. The amount of research that must have been done to write this wonderful biography is impressive I got to know Margaret Fuller as a gifted child possessed with a prickly arrogance, and learned about the influences that evolved her into a complicated woman, a compassionate writer, a critic who championed social justice, especially for women I knew of her tragic and untimely death at sea beforehand, but it was chilling to read details of the story as told by some of the survivors She suffered terri [...]

    14. This is a book best consumed in small bites one or two chapters at a time, only because the writing is rich with detail I like that Matteson feels free to speculate about the unknown aspects of Fuller s life he s justified in doing so because his reaches are balanced with extensive research As I read this book I felt as though I was peering through a window of Fuller s house the intimacy of the writing is exquisite Matteson s style also mimics the dense prose of the 19th century but it doesn t d [...]

    15. I picked this book because I absolutely loved Matteson s Eden s Outcasts The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father This book is similarly well researched and well writtenbut I had to work to finish it I think the problem was that I simply didn t like wasn t terribly interested in Margaret Fuller, no matter how well read she was, how ahead of her time she was as a feminist intellectual, and how much she served as a muse to both Emerson and Alcott I can clearly see how she was important to Ame [...]

    16. The book was excellent But as someone from Massachusetts with a love of history and a degree in English who somehow was subjected to an outrageous amount of Transcendentalism despite not caring much for it beyond Emerson s eyeball line , I am enraged about the fact I had no idea who she was before reading this book And despite the fact this isn t a YA fantasy fiction book, I still cried about it.

    17. I loved this book Margaret Fuller was a brilliant woman raised to think independently and use her vast knowledge to further the status of women She was good friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson among others She was the first female foreign news correspondent Her unfortunate death in New York harbor is a sad reflection on the locals who watched her die while waiting to rummage through the ship s cargo This is a thorough and well written biography of a truly exceptional woman.

    18. It would be hard to write fiction with quite the twists and turns of Margaret Fuller s life She got access to the Harvard library when few if any women had She sent dispatches back to the US from Europe She spent time with Emerson, the Brownings, Alcott, Channings, and Greeley She wrote books She died in a shipwreck Matteson is a great author, who tells the story with some memorable prose You ll be entertained and learn a lot if you read this book.

    19. Pulitzer prize winner biography of Margaret Fuller She was a friend of Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, et al a transcendentalist, writer, literary critic, editor, teacher, journalist, feminist Brilliant but difficult personality On a trip to Europe, she met George Sand and Chopin, among others, in Paris Wonderful writing, thoroughly enjoyed the book, and found her to be fascinating.

    20. She really had quite a life Transcendentalist, first American author of a book about women s rights, first American foreign correspondent, Fuller was brilliant, forceful, hardworking, arrogant, brilliant, conflicted, immature, ambitious, and quite a character This book was psychologically astute, as one blurb says.

    21. Margaret Fuller was a remarkable figure in history, and someone we should all learn about right along with Emerson and Thoreau Unfortunately, at times this book seemed to drag on like an endless encyclopedia entry At other times, Matterson s account was gripping the Italian revolution Worth a read, but don t be afraid to skim over some of the dragging passages.

    22. Pulitzer winner Matteson makes Fuller, America s first female intellectual, interesting with his unique outline of her accomplishments and his sterling prose Got me interested enough to read a current novel about Fuller s untimely drowning in a storm off Long Island and to revisit Hawthorne s unflattering characterization of her in The Blithesdale Romance.

    23. I didn t know anything about Margaret Fuller before picking this up and learned a lot about what a remarkable woman she was The writing was a bit too academic for a leisure read, but I tend to lean towards fiction than non fiction.

    24. Margaret Fuller was an early Feminist, long before that term came to be known She was a wonderful intellectual and literate figure, who held her own or bested the finest minds of her era.

    25. Lively and engaging biography of the writer, critic, and Transcendentalist who struggled to find her place and perfect her self in the 19th century.

    26. An excellent biography on one of America s most brilliant minds John Matteson s research and attention to detail make his books not only informative, but engrossing and entertaining as well.

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