On an irregular basis between 1819 and 1825, Margaret attended the Cambridge Port Private Grammar School, Dr. Park’s Boston Lyceum, and Miss Prescott’s Young Ladies’ Seminary, where her parents hoped she would gain polish in feminine accomplishments. Her son was born in 1849, and Fuller volunteered in a supporting hospital while working on a book of history of the revolution. Longing for admiration and companionship, Margaret was socially awkward and unpopular among peers who responded to her with a mixture of awe and ridicule. That women could have their own opinions on matters outside their “sphere” proved an intoxicating proposition. A cluster of girl friends completed a happy social circle as Margaret came into her own in her late teens and early twenties. A lawyer and a Republican in Federalist New England, Timothy Fuller was elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 1813 and in 1818 began the first of four terms in the United States Congress, finally retiring to write. Fuller’s letters home had made only oblique references to her personal situation. So popular were the subscriptions to these discussions and so spellbinding a conversationalist was Fuller, that she attracted not only the wives of prominent citizens, but also other sympathetic social reformers. Margaret Fuller initially worked as a teacher before she went on to become the editor of ‘The Dial’, a transcendentalist journal. In 1839 Fuller moved her family from the Groton farm to a rented house in Jamaica Plain, five miles from Boston. In 1843 The Dial published Fuller’s ground-breaking feminist manifesto, “The Great Lawsuit,” in which she called for women’s equality. Born in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, to lawyer and senator Timothy Fuller and Margarett Crane, Fuller received a rigorous classical education not often available to girls of her time at the hands of her father. She was an active, inspiring companion and correspondent, and all the art, the thought, the nobleness in New England seemed at that moment related to her and she to it. Fuller was invited to visit Ralph Waldo Emerson and his wife Lydian in Concord, Massachusetts in 1836. America’s First True Feminist Author, editor, and journalist, Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) holds a distinctive place in the cultural life of the American Renaissance. Thus I had tasks given me, as many and various as the hours would allow, and on subjects beyond my age; with the additional disadvantge of reciting to him in the evening. Fuller published Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845), which is considered the first major feminist work in America and became a feminist classic. During her four years with the publication, she published more than 250 columns. The result, she hoped, would be wholesale transformation of a society deformed by an imbalance between masculine and feminine principles. The couple were very secretive about their relationship but, after Angelino suffered an unnamed illness, they became closer. In 1843 Margaret Fuller traveled by train, steamboat, carriage, and on foot to make a roughly circular tour of the Great Lakes. Through the Emersons, Fuller met Bronson Alcott, and the innovative educator offered her a job at his Temple School in Boston, which she accepted. Fuller served as editor for the first two years, working with authors such as Ellen Sturgis Hooper, Caroline Sturgis, Henry David Thoreau, Elizabeth Peabody, and George and Sophia Ripley. In the summer of 1848, she retreated to the village of Rieti where her son, Angelo Eugene Philip Ossoli, was born on September 7. The following year she took a teaching position at the Greene Street School in Providence. The Tribune then sent her to Rome as a foreign correspondent, where she embraced the revolution for Italian freedom. Eight daughters and sons were born to the couple, and six grew to adulthood. She may also be the basis for the character Zenobia in another of Hawthorne's works, The Blithedale Romance. Margaret Fuller became entwined with intellectuals around Massachusetts, including Ralph Waldo Emerson. Even so, she was happy for her daughter, writing: “I send my first kiss with my fervent blessing to my grandson.”. In 1845 Fuller enlarged her Dial essay The Great Lawsuit and published it as Woman in the Nineteenth Century, which became a classic of feminist thought. Woman in the Nineteenth Century revealed Fuller’s enormous knowledge of literature and philosophy as she described the oppression of the female sex through history and advocated equal status for women. Fuller continued to work on her Italian history. Finally, in 1849, she sent a letter to her mother, telling of Ossoli and the birth of their son. A memorial to Fuller was erected on the beach at Fire Island in 1901 through the efforts of Julia Ward Howe. Determined to give his daughter the best possible education, her father taught her himself. It was in the pages of The Dial that she published one of her significant early feminist works, “The Great Lawsuit: Man vs. Men, Woman vs. Women.” The title was a reference to individuals and society-imposed gender roles. Woman Versus Woman. At the same time, Fuller raised her siblings while teaching, occasionally at Broson Alcott’s school in Boston, and found her energy drained. Refresh and try again. From 1840 to 1842 she was editor of The Dial, a magazine launched by the Transcendentalists. This personality was the inspiration for the character Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter, specifically her radical thinking about "the whole race of womanhood". Eliza Farrar, wife of Harvard professor John Farrar, took Margaret on as a project in the improvement of dress and manners and introduced her to visitors like Fanny Kemble and Harriet Martineau. The Letters of Margaret Fuller: 1817-1838, These Sad But Glorious Days: Dispatches From Europe, 1846-1850, Love-Letters of Margaret Fuller, 1845-1846, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Volume II, Mountains: A Natural History and Hiking Guide, The Spirit Leads: Margaret Fuller in Her Own Words, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Volume I, Conversations with Goethe in the Last Years of His Life, The Wit & Wisdom of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, My Most Loved: Love Letters of Margaret Fuller (Expanded, Annotated), Margaret Fuller, Critic: Writings from the New-York Tribune, 1844-1846 [With CD-ROM], The Dial; A Magazine for Literature, Philosophy, and Religion Volume 1, At Home And Abroad Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe, The Letters of Margaret Fuller: 1842-1844, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli ..; v.1, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli ..; V.3, The Letters of Margaret Fuller: 1848-1849. In 1836 Fuller met Ralph Waldo Emerson, who introduced her to Thomas Carlyle and several other philosophers who became known as Transcendentalists. The Fuller family erected a monument to Margaret in their plot at Mount Auburn cemetery in Cambridge. Fuller used her experiences to write a book about the history of the Italian Revolution. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The period proved to be one of personal, as well as intellectual growth in Fuller’s life. Not long after leaving port, the ship’s captain died of smallpox, and his less competent replacement ran the ship aground less than 100 yards from Fire Island, New York, in the early morning hours of July 19, 1850.
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