Writer, editor, journalist, educator, feminist, conversationalist, and reformer Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) was one of the leading intellectuals of nineteenth-century America as well as a prominent member of Concord literary circles. Yet the challenging spirit behind her intellectual confidence and mesmerizing energy led to the invention of an unbalanced legacy that denied her a place among the canonical Concord writers. This collection of first-hand reminiscences by those who knew Fuller personally rescues her from these confusions and provides a clearer identity for this misrepresented personality.

The forty-one remembrances from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Carlyle, Harriet Martineau, Henry James, and twenty-four others chart Fuller’s expanding influence from schooldays in Boston, meetings at the Transcendental Club, teaching in Providence and Boston, work on the New York Tribune, publications and conversations, travels in the British Isles, and life and love in Italy before her tragic early death. Joel Myerson’s perceptive introduction assesses the pre- and postmortem building of Fuller’s reputation as well as her relationship to the prominent Transcendentalists, reformers, literati, and other personalities of her time, and his headnotes to each selection present valuable connecting contexts.

The woman who admitted that “at nineteen she was the most intolerable girl that ever took a seat in a drawing-room,” whose Woman in the Nineteenth Century is considered the first major book-length feminist call to action in America, never conformed to nineteenth-century expectations of self-effacing womanhood. The fascinating contradictions revealed by these narratives create a lively, lifelike biography of Fuller’s “rare gifts and solid acquirements . . . and unfailing intellectual sympathy.”

"A marvelous collection of descriptions, criticisms, adulations, and analyses of Fuller by her American and British contemporaries. Myerson gathers a range of manuscript and published sources to bring back to life the conversation around Fuller as a provocative cultural force. The voices of her friends, family, colleagues, critics, and students—of Emerson, Caroline Dall, Martineau, Greeley, Carlyle, Emelyn Story, and Richard Fuller—are vivid and immerse the reader in the period's language and aspirations. Fuller valued dialogue as a process of discovery; the conversation resurrected here engages readers in the process of understanding one of the major public intellectuals of the nineteenth century."—Brigitte Bailey, University of New Hampshire, president, Margaret Fuller Society
"Fuller in Her Own Time brings together recollections by family members, friends, and fellow writers about Fuller's life and times. Hard-to-find contemporary accounts provide insights into Fuller's years as a schoolgirl, teacher, editor, author, and journalist in the U.S. and Europe. Myerson's volume is an invaluable collection of primary sources for students and scholars interested in the life of one of the most important women of the nineteenth century."—Susan Belasco, editor, Margaret Fuller's Summer on the Lakes in 1843, and coeditor, "These Sad but Glorious Days": Dispatches from Europe, 1846—1850 by Margaret Fuller

Oliver Wendell Holmes, [Fuller as a Schoolgirl in 1819–1820]

Amos Bronson Alcott, [Journal Comments on Fuller in 1836 and 1838]

Lidian Jackson Emerson, [Epistolary Comments on Fuller in 1836, 1843, and 1850]

Charles T. Congdon, [Fuller in Providence in 1837–1838]

Mary Ware Allen, [Fuller as a Teacher in 1837–1838]

Evelina Metcalf, [Fuller as a Teacher in 1838]

Ann Brown, [Fuller as a Teacher in 1838]

Anna Gale and Others, [Fuller as a Teacher in 1838–1839]

Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, [Fuller’s Conversations in 1839 and 1840]

Nathaniel Hawthorne, [Epistolary and Journal Comments on Fuller in 1839, 1841, and 1842]

Elizabeth Hoar, [Epistolary Comments on Fuller in 1839, 1841, and 1850]

Theodore Parker, [Journal Comments on Fuller in 1840]

Caroline Healey Dall, [Fuller’s Conversations in 1841]

Horace Greeley, [Fuller in New York in 1844–1846]

Edgar Allan Poe, “The Literati of New York City” (1846)

C. S. H., [Fuller at the Italian School, London, in 1846]

Thomas Carlyle, [Epistolary Comments on Fuller in 1846 and 1852]

George Palmer Putnam, [Fuller in Italy in 1847]

Emelyn Story, [Fuller in Rome in 1847–1849]

Frederick William Gale, [Fuller in Rome in 1849]

William Henry Hurlbert, [Fuller in Florence in 1850]

William Henry Channing, [Fuller’s Death in 1850]

Mary Moody Emerson, [Epistolary Comments on Fuller in 1850, 1851, and 1852]

William Ellery Channing the Younger, [Epistolary Comments on Fuller in 1851]

Caroline Healey Dall, [Journal Comments on Fuller in 1851 and 1852]

William Henry Channing, From Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852)

Frederic Henry Hedge, From Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852)

James Freeman Clarke, From Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, From Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852)

Sarah Helen Whitman, [Epistolary Comments on Fuller in 1852]

George William Curtis, [Epistolary and Other Comments on Fuller in 1856, 1882, and 1884]

Henry Giles, From “Margaret Fuller Ossoli” (1861)

Amos Bronson Alcott and Frederic Henry Hedge, [Anniversary Celebration of Fuller’s Sixtieth Birthday] (1870)

Harriet Martineau, From Harriet Martineau’s Autobiography (1877)

Sarah Freeman Clarke, [Margaret Fuller] (1884)

Nathaniel Hawthorne, [Journal Comments on Fuller in 1858] (1884)

Ednah Dow Cheney, From Reminiscences of Ednah Dow Cheney (1902)

Henry James, [The “Margaret-ghost”] (1903)

Frederick L. H. Willis, From Alcott Memoirs (1915)

Richard Frederick Fuller, [A Brother’s Memories of Fuller] (1936)

Caroline Healey Dall, [Reminiscences of Margaret Fuller] (1974)


Works Cited


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Pages, art, trim size
258 pages, 9 photos, 6 x 9 inches