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Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller
A brilliant literary critic, tenacious reporter, and passionate social revolutionary, Margaret Fuller broke new ground for women in every way that she could.

Born in 1810 in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, Fuller spent her childhood in a grueling course of study prescribed by her father. She read English at age two and Latin at six. By the time she reached her teens, she could discuss classic literary and philosophical works with ease.

After a brief career as a teacher, Fuller relocated to Boston, where from 1839-1844 she led "conversations" for women on intellectual topics. In 1840 the Transcendentalist philosophers, many of whom were Fuller's friends, founded a magazine, "The Dial," with Margaret as editor.

Horace Greeley, editor of the "New York Tribune" brought Fuller onto his staff to write literary criticism in 1844, making her the first woman in America to hold such a position. But Fuller wasn't content with life as a reviewer and made it her business to dig through the city's dark corners, producing stunning reformist exposés. In 1845 Greeley published Fuller's landmark book, "Woman in the Nineteenth Century," which argued for women's equality in all aspects of life.

Fuller traveled to Europe in 1846, becoming the first female international correspondent, entertaining "Tribune" readers with portraits of Thomas Carlyle, Frederic Chopin, and George Sand. Swept into the Italian revolution, Fuller married Giovanni Angelo, a young republican, and headed to the battlefront.

When the French crushed the Italian revolution in 1850, Fuller sailed for America with her family on the Elizabeth, which sank off New York in heavy seas. Among the dead were Margaret Fuller, her husband, and her son. Neither Fuller's body nor her last manuscript, which chronicled the revolution, were ever recovered.

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