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"The leading feminist intellectual of her day, Margaret Fuller has been remembered for her groundbreaking work, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, which recharted the gender roles of nineteenth-century men and women. In this new collection, the full range of her literary career is represented--from her earliest poetry to her final dispatch from revolutionary Italy. For the first time, the complete texts of Woman in the Nineteenth Century and Summer on the Lakes are printed together along with generous selections from Fuller's Dial essays, New York essays, Italian dispatches, and unpublished journals. Special features are the complete text of Fuller's famous "Autobiographical Romance" (never before reprinted in its entirety) and nineteen of her poems, edited from her manuscripts. All of Fuller's major texts are completely annotated, with special attention to her literary and historical sources, as well as her knowledge of American Indian culture, mythology, and the Bible." "Jeffrey Steele's introduction provides an important revision of Fuller's biography and literary career tracing the growth of her feminism and her development into one of America's preeminent social critics. No other writer of Fuller's day could match the range of her experience. Growing up in the world of Boston intellectuals, she was a close personal friend of the Alcotts, Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau. But she also traveled adventurously to the western frontier, canoed down rapids with Chippewa Indians, visited the outcast and the poor in New York's institutions and prisons, and experienced the rigors of war during the bombardment of Rome. As a whole, this anthology provides the material to understand one of the most fascinating nineteenth-century American women writers."--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
A woman of many gifts, Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) is most aptly remembered as America's first true feminist. In her brief yet fruitful life, she was variously author, editor, literary and social critic, journalist, poet, and revolutionary. She was also one of the few female members of the prestigious Transcendentalist movement, whose ranks included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and many other prominent New England intellectuals of the day. As co-editor of the transcendentalist journal, The Dial, Fuller was able to give voice to her groundbreaking social critique on woman's place in society, the genesis of the book that was later to become Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Published in 1843, this essay was entitled "The Great Lawsuit: Man versus Men, Woman versus Women."First published in book form in 1845, Woman in the Nineteenth Century was correctly perceived as the controversial document that it was: receiving acclaim and achieving popular success in some quarters (the first printing sold out within a week), at the same time that it inspired vicious attacks from opponents of the embryonic women's movement. In this book, whose style is characterized by the trademark textual diversity of the transcendentalists, Fuller articulates values arising from her passionate belief in justice and equality for all humankind, with a particular focus on women. Although her notion of basic rights certainly includes those of an educational, economic, and legal nature, it is intellectual expansion and changes in the prevailing attitudes towards women (by men and women) that Fuller cherishes far above the superficial manifestations of liberation. A classic of feminist thought that helped bring about the Seneca Falls Women's Convention three years after its publication, Woman in the Nineteenth Century inspired her contemporaries Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to speak of Fuller as possessing "more influence upon the thought of American women than any woman previous to her time."
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