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By Donna Dickenson (auth.)

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Extra info for Margaret Fuller: Writing A Woman’s Life

Sample text

She was a great humbug; of course with much talent, and much moral reality, or else she could not have been so great a humbug. But she had stuck herself full of borrowed qualities, which she chose to provide herself with, but which had no root in her. Mr Mozier added, that Margaret had quite lost all power of literary production, before she left Rome, though occasionally the 32 Margaret Fuller: Writing a Woman's Life charm and power of her conversation would reappear. To his certain knowledge, she had no important manuscripts with her when she sailed (she having shown him all she had, with a view to his securing their publication in America); and the History of the Roman Revolution, about which there was so much lamentation, in the belief that it had been lost with her, never had existence.

Man is a wretch without woman; but woman is a monster- and, thank Heaven, an almost impossible and hitherto imaginary monster - without man as her acknowledged principal! - if there were a chance of their attaining the end which these petticoated monstrosities have in view, I would call upon my own sex to use its physical force, that unmistakable evidence of sovereignty, to scourge them back within their proper bounds! But it will not be needful. The heart of true womanhood knows where its own sphere is, and never seeks to stray beyond it!

The problem is that Hawthorne was himself so rabidly uncharitable in his remarks, to the effect that Fuller was better off dead. ') Even before she met Sand - after which she wrote 'M[m]e. Sand personally inspired me with warm admiration and esteem; she would have done so, if I had read no word of hers' 80 Fuller was ultimately able to distinguish between the woman and the work. The passage bemoaning the surgeon's dirty hands is prefaced by a call for American readers to be more generous and ironically - manly, in their judgement of Sand: To the weak or unthinking the reading of such books [as Sand's] may not be desirable, for only those who take exercise as men can digest strong meat.

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