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Book Title: Woman in the Nineteenth Century|
The author of the book: Margaret Fuller
Edition: Dover Publications
Date of issue: January 26th 1999
ISBN 13: 9780486406626
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 34.91 MB
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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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Read information about the authorSarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli, more commonly known as Margaret Fuller, (May 23, 1810 – July 19, 1850) was a journalist, critic and women's rights activist associated with the American transcendental movement. She was the first full-time female book reviewer in journalism. Her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century is considered the first major feminist work in the United States.
Born Sarah Margaret Fuller in an area of Cambridge, Massachusetts, she was given a substantial early education by her father, Timothy Fuller. She later had more formal schooling and became a teacher before, in 1839, she began overseeing what she called "conversations": discussions among women meant to compensate for their lack of access to higher education. She became the first editor of the transcendental publication The Dial in 1840 before joining the staff of the New York Tribune under Horace Greeley in 1844. By the time she was in her 30s, Fuller had earned a reputation as the best-read person in New England, male or female, and became the first woman allowed to use the library at Harvard College. Her seminal work, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, was published in 1845. A year later, she was sent to Europe for the Tribune as its first female correspondent. She soon became involved with the revolution in Italy and allied herself with Giuseppe Mazzini. She also met Giovanni Ossoli, with whom she had a child. All three members of the family died in a shipwreck off Fire Island, New York, traveling back to the United States in 1850. Fuller's body was never recovered.
Fuller was an advocate of women's rights and, in particular, women's education and the right to employment. She also encouraged many other reforms in society, including prison reform and the emancipation of slaves in the United States. Many other advocates for women's rights and feminism, including Susan B. Anthony, cite Fuller as a source of inspiration. Many of her contemporaries, however, were not supportive, including her former friend Harriet Martineau, who said that Fuller was a talker rather than an activist. Shortly after Fuller's death her importance faded; the editors who prepared her letters to be published, believing her fame would be short-lived, were not concerned about accuracy and censored or altered much of her words before publication.
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