Woman in the Nineteenth Century by Margaret Fuller Ossoli
Margaret Fuller has been identified by Elaine Showalter as the Dark Lady of the American Renaissance, the emblematic woman of her time. Woman in the Nineteeth Century (1845), published to popular success and scurrilous criticism from opponents of the nascent women's movement, sold out within a week. Yet, although her contemporaries, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, judged that Fuller possessed more influence upon the thought of American women than any woman previous to her time, this major work has not been widely available to modern readers before now. Instead, what has been best known is the Margaret myth promulgated after her early death by shipwreck. Thus Fuller's erstwhile friend Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote: She was a great humbug...providence was kind in putting her on board that fated ship. This edition gives modern readers the chance to judge the importance of Fuller's achievements for themselves. Ranging widely from the woman question to the European revolutionary movement in which Fuller played a direct part, her thought pre-figures important themes in modern feminism, particularly the idea of women's separate voice. Donna Dickenson is the author of Margaret Fuller: Writing a Woman's Life.