Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the 1993 Bancroft Prize and praised in The Nation as the richest account we have yet of Fuller's formative years, the first volume of Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life was acclaimed by critics and scholars alike as the finest portrait available of Fuller's early life. Now,
in the much-anticipated sequel, Charles Capper illuminates Fuller's public years, focusing on her struggles to establish her identity as an influential intellectual woman in the Romantic Age.
Capper brings to life Fuller's dramatic mixture of inward struggles, intimate social life, and deep engagements with the major movements of her time--from outre Boston Transcendentalism to contentious New York journalism and European revolutionary ideas. Capper describes how Fuller struggled to
reconcile high avant-garde cultural ideals and Romantic critical methods with democratic social and political commitments, and he reveals how she strove to articulate--through the lens of American idealism and European experience--a cosmopolitan vision for her nation's culture and politics.
Capper also sheds light on Fuller's complex personal life. He offers fresh and often startlingly new treatments of Fuller's friendships with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Carlyle, and Giuseppe Mazzini and provides new insights into such badly understood intimates as the shadowy James Nathan, the
poetic genius Adam Mickiewicz, and Fuller's Roman lover Giovanni Ossoli. Readers will also find lively portraits of many other famous figures with whom Fuller associated, including Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Horace Greeley, Lydia Maria Child, George Sand, and Robert and Elizabeth
Filled withdramatic, ironic, and sometimes tragic turns, this superb biography captures the story of one of America's most extraordinary figures, producing at once the best life of Fuller ever written and one of the great biographies in American history.
“Wide-ranging and ambitious, this collection includes many of the best Fuller scholars as well as some new voices. It succeeds admirably as it moves from extreme closeups focusing on the dramatic historical events of 1848–49 to panoramic vistas that link Fuller to transnational cultural concerns.”—Jeffrey Steele, editor of The Essential Margaret Fuller
“A substantial addition to the burgeoning field of transnational literary history.”—Choice
“A welcome addition to the sometimes-belated consideration of women writers within transatlantic studies.”—Brigitte Bailey, The Journal of American History
Margaret Fuller (1810–1850), a pioneering gender theorist, transcendentalist, journalist, and literary critic, was one of the most well-known and highly regarded feminist intellectuals of nineteenth-century America. With her contemporaries Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, she was one of the predominant writers of the Transcendentalist movement, and she aligned herself in both her public and private life with the European revolutionary fervor of the 1840s. She traveled to Italy as a foreign correspondent for the New York Tribune to cover the nascent revolutions, pursuing the transnational ideal awakened in her youth by a classical education in European languages and a Romantic curiosity about other cultures, traditions, and identities.
This volume is a collaboration of international scholars who, from varied fields and approaches, assess Fuller’s genius and character. Treating the last several years of Margaret Fuller’s short life, these essays offer a truly international discussion of Fuller’s unique cultural, political, and personal achievements. From the origins and articulations of Fuller’s cosmopolitanism to her examination of “the woman question,” and from her fascination with the European “other” to her candid perception of imperial America from abroad, they ponder what such an extraordinary woman meant to America, and also to Italy and Europe, during her lifetime and continuing to the present.
About the Author
Charles Capper is professor of history at Boston University and author of Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life, volume 1, The Private Years, and volume 2, The Public Years. He is coeditor of The American Intellectual Tradition and the journal Modern Intellectual History. Cristina Giorcelli is professor of American literature at the University of Rome Three and has published extensively on nineteenth-century fiction and on Modernist poetry. She cofounded and codirects the quarterly journal Letterature d’America.