Clip of review of Margaret Fuller's 1845 book, The Broadway Journal
Thanks to Princeton, Massachusetts, Town Moderator Harry Pape, I've learned that my letter to The Boston Globe, standing up for the reputation of Margaret Fuller, saw the light of print on Sun, Nov. 8. For reasons unknown to me, it doesn't seem to be online so I hereby offer it--and the original, a study in editing for those who like to learn about such things. Either way, I am very pleased that June Wulff, who writes and edits for The Globe, plucked mine from the slush.
As published, "Fuller in full," Boston Sunday Globe, Section N, P. 2, November 8, 2009:
Matthew Guerrieri Guerrieri identifies Margaret Fuller, the brilliant, widely published author from the 1840s, foreign correspondent for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, editor of The Dial, the translator of Goethe, and author of "Woman in the Nineteenth Century," as the "sexy muse" of the Transcendentalists ("Beethoven's Early Believers," Arts & Entertainment, October 25). Trivialization hardly describes his dismal description. Fuller has been the subject of doctoral dissertations and biographies, has an academic society devoted to her, is taught as a major figure in American literature, and will be honored next year on her bicentennial. Sexy muse? In your dreams.
Co-chair, Margaret Fuller Bicenten-
nial Committee in New England
To the editor:
No offense but is Matthew Guerrieri a bit of a "tool?" Fair's fair: In "Beethoven's Early Believers," October 25, 2009, Guerrieri identifies Margaret Fuller, the brilliant, most widely published author of the 1840s, the foreign correspondent for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, the editor of The Dial, the translator of Goethe, and the author of Woman in the Nineteenth Century, along with many other books, as the "sexy muse" of the Transcendentalists.
Trivialization hardly describes his dismissal of the woman around whom intellectuals and artists of the 1830s and 1840s, both in the US and in Europe, revolved. Not to mention that Fuller has been the subject of numerous doctoral dissertations, has an academic society devoted to her, is taught as a major figure in American literature, and will be honored on her bicentennial next year, 2010.
Oh, I almost forgot. She did all of this without benefit of a long life (she only lived to forty), wrote entirely by hand (sorry, Mr. Guerrieri, unlike you, she didn't have a keyboard to make it go fast or the web to look up salient details), and spoke six languages.
Sexy muse? In your dreams.
Co-chair, Margaret Fuller Bicentennial Committee in New England, and author of The Persuasion, a novel about Fuller
West Newton, MA