Who is Margaret Fuller? I am embarrassed to say that I had never heard of her before I read the Intellectual Devotional article linked to above. She is, if nothing else, a crystal clear example of why themed history months are valuable in lifting the erasure from historical figures who are not, frankly, white males. In her short life–she died at age 40 in a shipwreck off the coast of Long Island–she accomplished enough as a writer and public figure to earn a key position in the history of American letters. To wit, she joined the Transcendental Club in Boston, where she became friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson solicited contributions from her for the influential American literary journal The Dial, to whose editorship she ascended in late 1839.
Ms. Fuller’s work at The Dial, as well as her proto-feminist book Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1844), brought her to the attention of Horace Greeley, the storied publisher of The New York Tribune. Recognizing her talent, Greeley hired at first to write book reviews, making her the first full-time book reviewer. In 1846, the Tribune deployed her to Europe, where she became the paper’s first female foreign correspondent.
All in all, Margaret Fuller’s is an extraordinary life, and one worthy of both casual and scholarly attention. I hope this small contribution from Mark’s Text Terminal brings her to the attention of high school students.
If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.