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Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life,…

Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life, Vol. 2: The Public Years

by Charles Capper

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Margaret Fuller was an important person on the American literary scene in the first half of the nineteenth century, and an early advocate, partly from the force of her circumstances, of equality, even to the extent of androgyny apparently, of women and men. She stirred the Unitarian and Transcendentalist pot. Margaret Fuller: An American Romantic Life, Vol. 2: The Public Years by Charles Capper unfolds in exquisite detail the later years of her short life as she published and became broadly known both in the United States and in Europe.

The book is dense. The subject has her own life; her life is set in a rich historical period; her thinking on matters is detailed and careful. Capper captures all of that and how they relate one to the other. She was a democratic socialist and supported European, especially Italian, revolution. At the same time she called for a mature literary culture in the United States. She was so well informed that I am sorry she died before her intellect was used up, but there were people who thought her early death was to her advantage. Interested though I was I was not happy reading the last chapter of this work.

The two volume work by Capper seems to be the standard. Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall has won the Pulitzer Prize and was in today's mail. I have read Marshall's book on The Peabody Sisters and have some hope for the newer book. ( )
1 vote Mr.Durick | Jul 23, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195063139, Hardcover)

Filled with dramatic, 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. In Volume II, Charles Capper illuminates Fuller's "public years," focusing on her struggles to establish her identity as an influential intellectual woman in the Romantic Age. He brings to life Fuller's dramatic mixture of inward struggles, intimate social life, and deep engagements with the movements of her time. He describes how Fuller struggled to reconcile high avant-garde cultural ideals and Romantic critical methods with democratic social and political commitments, and how she strove to articulate a cosmopolitan vision for her nation's culture and politics. Capper also offers fresh and often startlingly new treatments of Fuller's friendships with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Carlyle, and Giuseppe Mazzini, in addition to many others.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:24 -0400)

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