Margaret Fuller, in full Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli, (born May 23, 1810, Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, U.S. – died July 19, 1850, Fire Island, New York, U.S.) was an American author, literary and social critic, editor and women’s rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement.
In Boston, from 1839 to 1844, Fuller conducted formal conversations for women on various topics, trying to improve and enrich the lives of her contemporaries
Before joining the New York Tribune in 1844, as book review editor, she was the first editor of The Dial, a magazine launched by the Transcendentalists. In 1843, The Dial published her essay The Great Lawsuit. Man versus Men, Woman versus Women, which examined the place of women within society.
After publishing her first book Summer on the Lakes in 1844, she expanded her Dial essay and published Woman in the Nineteenth Century in 1845. Woman in the Nineteenth Century is considered the first major feminist work in the United States.
Margaret Fuller was the first full-time American female book reviewer in journalism and she is believed to be the first woman allowed to use the library at Harvard College.
The use of criticism, in periodical writing, is to sift, not to stamp a work.'A Short Essay on Critics,' Papers on Literature and Art (1846)
Harmony exists in difference, no less than in likeness, if only the same key-note govern both parts.Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
I now know all the people worth knowing in America, and I find no intellect comparable to my own.Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852), Vol. I, p. 234.
Only the dreamer shall understand realities, though, in truth, his dreaming must not be out of proportion to his waking!Summer on the Lakes (1844)
It is astonishing what force, purity and wisdom it requires for a human being to keep clear of falsehoods.Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852), Vol. II, p. 64.
Beware of over-great pleasure in being popular or even beloved.Letter to Arthur B. Fuller (December 20, 1840)
Drudgery is as necessary, to call out the treasures of the mind, as harrowing and planting those of the earth.Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
The character and history of each child may be a new and poetic experience to the parent, if he will let it.Summer on the Lakes (1844)
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.Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
Genius will live and thrive without training, but it does not the less reward the watering-pot and pruning-knife.'Life of Sir James Mackintosh,' Papers on Literature and Art (1846)
A man who means to think and write a great deal must, after six and twenty, learn to read with his fingers.'Life of Sir James Mackintosh,' Papers on Literature and Art (1846)
How many persons must there be who cannot worship alone, since they are content with so little!Letter to Reverend William Henry Channing (December 31, 1843)
God will transplant the root, if he wills to rear it into fruit-bearing.Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852), Vol. II
Art can only be truly art by presenting an adequate outward symbol of some fact in the interior life.'Part II: Things and Thoughts of Europe,' At Home And Abroad (1856)
Very early I knew that the only object in life was to grow.Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852), Vol. I, p. 132.
Man tells his aspiration in his God; but in his demon he shows his depth of experience.As quoted in Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1898) by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, p. 289-91.
Might the simple maxim, that honesty is the best policy be laid to heart! Might a sense of the true aims of life elevate the tone of politics and trade, till public and private honor become identical!Summer on the Lakes (1844)
A house is no home unless it contain food and fire for the mind as well as for the body.Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
Two persons love in one another the future good which they aid one another to unfold.Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
For precocity some great price is always demanded sooner or later in life.'Life of Sir James Mackintosh,' Papers on Literature and Art (1846)
There are noble books but one wants the breath of life sometimes.Letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson (March 1, 1838)
It is inevitable that an external freedom, an independence of the encroachments of other men, such as has been achieved for the nation, should be so also for every member of it.Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
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.Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
To one who has enjoyed the full life of any scene, of any hour, what thoughts can be recorded about it, seem like the commas and semicolons in the paragraph, mere stops.Summer on the Lakes (1844)
The better part of wisdom is a sublime prudence, a pure and patient truth that will receive nothing it is not sure it can permanently lay to heart.Summer on the Lakes (1844)
Tragedy is always a mistake; and the loneliness of the deepest thinker, the widest lover, ceases to be pathetic to us so soon as the sun is high enough above the mountains.'Dialogue,' Papers on Literature and Art (1846)
Men disappoint me so, I disappoint myself so, yet courage, patience, shuffle the cards…Letter to Reverend William Henry Channing (February 21, 1841)
It seems that it is madder never to abandon oneself, than often to be infatuated; better to be wounded, a captive, and a slave, than always to walk in armor.Summer on the Lakes (1844)
I am suffocated and lost when I have not the bright feeling of progression.Letter to James F. Clarke (August 30, 1833)