Sarah Margaret Fuller
Biography of Sarah Margaret Fuller
Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli, commonly known as Margaret Fuller, (May 23, 1810 – July 19, 1850) was an American journalist, critic, and women's rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism 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 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 transcendentalist journal 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 had a relationship with Giovanni Ossoli, with whom she had a child. All three members of the family died in a shipwreck off Fire Island, New York, as they were traveling 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. She 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 work before publication.
Sarah Margaret Fuller's Works:
Conversations with Goethe in the Last Years of His Life, Translated from the German of Eckermann(1839)
Summer on the Lakes (1843)
Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
Papers on Literature and Art (1846)
Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1850)
Conversations with Goethe (1852)
Literature and Art (1852)
Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852)
Love-Letters of Margaret Fuller 1845-1846 (1903)
The Letters of Margaret Fuller (1983-1988)
Sarah Margaret Fuller Poems
The Passion Flower
My love gave me a passion-flower. I nursed it well - so brief its hour!
A Maiden Sat Beneath a Tree
'A maiden sat beneath a tree; Tear-bedewed her pale cheeks be, And she sigheth heavily.
The One in All
There are who separate the eternal light In forms of man and woman, day and night; They cannot bear that God be essence quite.
The clouds are marshalling across the sky, Leaving their deepest tints upon yon range Of soul-alluring hills. The breeze comes softly,
We deemed the secret lost, the spirit gone, Which spake in Greek simplicty of thought, And in the forms of gods and heroes wrought
Saw ye first, arrayed in mist and cloud; No cheerful lights softened your aspect bold; A sullen gray, or green, more grave and cold,
We deemed the secret lost, the spirit gone,
Which spake in Greek simplicty of thought,
And in the forms of gods and heroes wrought
Eternal beauty from the sculptured stone, --
A higher charm than modern culture won
With all the wealth of metaphysic lore,
Gifted to analyze, dissect, explore.
A many-colored light flows from one sun;
Art, 'neath its beams, a motely thread has spun;