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Margaret Fuller

Birthdate: 23. May 1810
Date of death: 19. July 1850

Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli , commonly known as Margaret Fuller, was an American journalist, editor, critic, and women's rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement. She was the first full-time American 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, who died in 1835 due to cholera. She later had more formal schooling and became a teacher before, in 1839, she began overseeing her Conversations series: classes for 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, which was the year her writing career started to succeed, 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 revolutions 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. This is shown when she revolted against Boston-Cambridge’s learned professions as she was barred as for entering as a girl. Fuller, along with Coleridge, wanted to stay free of what she called the “strong mental oder” of female teachers . 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, censored or altered much of her work before publication.

Works

Quotes Margaret Fuller

„Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.“

—  Margaret Fuller

Variant: Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”
― Margaret Fuller

„Existence is as deep a verity:
Without the dual, where is unity?“

—  Margaret Fuller

Life Without and Life Within (1859), The One In All
Context: Existence is as deep a verity:
Without the dual, where is unity?
And the "I am"" cannot forbear to be;But from its primal nature forced to frame
Mysteries, destinies of various name,
Is forced to give that it has taught to claim.

„There are noble books but one wants the breath of life sometimes.“

—  Margaret Fuller

Letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson (1 March 1838); published in The Letters of Margaret Fuller vol. I, p. 327, , edited by Robert N. Hudspeth (1983).
Context: There are noble books but one wants the breath of life sometimes. And I see no divine person. I myself am more divine than any I see — I think that is enough to say about them...

„All around us lies what we neither understand nor use. Our capacities, our instincts for this our present sphere are but half developed.“

—  Margaret Fuller

"Good Sense" in a dialogue between Free Hope, Old Church, Good Sense, and Self -Poise. p. 127.
Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 (1844)
Context: All around us lies what we neither understand nor use. Our capacities, our instincts for this our present sphere are but half developed. Let us confine ourselves to that till the lesson be learned; let us be completely natural; before we trouble ourselves with the supernatural. I never see any of these things but I long to get away and lie under a green tree and let the wind blow on me. There is marvel and charm enough in that for me.

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„Nature provides exceptions to every rule.“

—  Margaret Fuller, book Woman in the Nineteenth Century

Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
Context: Male and female represent the two sides of the great radical dualism. But, in fact, they are perpetually passing into one another. Fluid hardens to solid, solid rushes to fluid. There is no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman.
History jeers at the attempts of physiologists to bind great original laws by the forms which flow from them. They make a rule; they say from observation what can and cannot be. In vain! Nature provides exceptions to every rule. She sends women to battle, and sets Hercules spinning; she enables women to bear immense burdens, cold, and frost; she enables the man, who feels maternal love, to nourish his infant like a mother.

„Very early, I knew that the only object in life was to grow.“

—  Margaret Fuller

Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852), Vol. I, p. 132.

„It is a vulgar error that love, a love, to Woman is her whole existence; she also is born for Truth and Love in their universal energy.“

—  Margaret Fuller, book Woman in the Nineteenth Century

Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
Context: Woman, self-centred, would never be absorbed by any relation it would be only an experience to her as to man. It is a vulgar error that love, a love, to Woman is her whole existence; she also is born for Truth and Love in their universal energy.

„There is another mode which enters into the natural history of every thing that breathes and lives, which believes no impulse to be entirely in vain, which scrutinizes circumstances, motive and object before it condemns, and believes there is a beauty in natural form, if its law and purpose be understood.“

—  Margaret Fuller

"Poets of the People" in Art, Literature and the Drama (1858).
Context: There are two modes of criticism. One which … crushes to earth without mercy all the humble buds of Phantasy, all the plants that, though green and fruitful, are also a prey to insects or have suffered by drouth. It weeds well the garden, and cannot believe the weed in its native soil may be a pretty, graceful plant.
There is another mode which enters into the natural history of every thing that breathes and lives, which believes no impulse to be entirely in vain, which scrutinizes circumstances, motive and object before it condemns, and believes there is a beauty in natural form, if its law and purpose be understood.

„I am immortal! I know it! I feel it!
Hope floods my heart with delight!“

—  Margaret Fuller

Dryad Song (1900)
Context: I am immortal! I know it! I feel it!
Hope floods my heart with delight!
Running on air mad with life dizzy, reeling,
Upward I mount, — faith is sight, life is feeling,
Hope is the day-star of might!

„My country is at present spoiled by prosperity, stupid with the lust of gain, soiled by crime in its willing perpetuation of slavery, shamed by an unjust war, noble sentiment much forgotten even by individuals, the aims of politicians selfish or petty, the literature frivolous and venal.“

—  Margaret Fuller

Letter XXIV (19 April 1848), ** Part II, Things and Thoughts of Europe, p. 326.
At Home And Abroad (1856)
Context: My friends write to urge my return the talk of our country as the land of the future. It is so, but that spirit which made it all it is of value in my eyes, which gave me all hope with which I can sympathize for that future, is more alive here at present than in America. My country is at present spoiled by prosperity, stupid with the lust of gain, soiled by crime in its willing perpetuation of slavery, shamed by an unjust war, noble sentiment much forgotten even by individuals, the aims of politicians selfish or petty, the literature frivolous and venal. In Europe, amid the teachings of adversity, a nobler spirit is struggling — a spirit which cheers and animates mine. I hear earnest words of pure faith and love. I see deeds of brotherhood. This is what makes my America. I do not deeply distrust my country. She is not dead, but in my time she sleepeth, and the spirits of our fathers flame no more, but lies hid beneath the ashes. It will not be so long; bodies cannot live when the soul gets too overgrown with gluttony and falsehood.

„What I mean by the Muse is that unimpeded clearness of the intuitive powers, which a perfectly truthful adherence to every admonition of the higher instincts would bring to a finely organized human being.“

—  Margaret Fuller, book Woman in the Nineteenth Century

Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
Context: What I mean by the Muse is that unimpeded clearness of the intuitive powers, which a perfectly truthful adherence to every admonition of the higher instincts would bring to a finely organized human being. It may appear as prophecy or as poesy. … and should these faculties have free play, I believe they will open new, deeper and purer sources of joyous inspiration than have as yet refreshed the earth.
Let us be wise, and not impede the soul. Let her work as she will. Let us have one creative energy, one incessant revelation. Let it take what form it will, and let us not bind it by the past to man or woman, black or white.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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