Margaret Fuller: A New American Life

May 18, 2015

Margaret_Fuller_engravingSarah Margaret Fuller (Marquess Ossoli) was a woman with more drive, persistence—and nouns—associated with her name than most.

Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) was a scholar, intellectual, feminist, crusader, investigative journalist, critic, editor, columnist, foreign correspondent, conversationalist, and Transcendentalist.¹

She was friends with the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning.²

Fuller’s “seminal feminist” work is considered to be Woman in the 19th Century (1843).




Megan Marshall grew up in Pasadena and by her own admission inhaled all things 19th century New England through books by Louisa May Alcott and Margaret Sidney, and classics by Hawthorne, Thoreau, and Melville. Unsurprisingly, she chose to attain her higher education east of here, in the land of weather and seasons, attending Bennington College in Vermont and then, Harvard.




In 2014, with her second biography Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, Marshall won the Pulitzer Prize in Biography. Dwight Garner of the New York Times writes in his review that this newest publication along with Marshall’s first biography, the “sublime and sustaining” Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism (2005), “pushes Ms. Marshall into the front rank of American biographers.”

On May 30th, Marshall returns to her hometown for a discussion and reading from Margaret Fuller: A New American Life at Pasadena Public Library’s Allendale Branch.

Marshall will be the Gilder Lehrman Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers of the New York Public Library in 2014-15. She has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She teaches nonfiction writing and archival research in the MFA program at Emerson College where she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing. She lives in Belmont, Massachusetts, midway between Boston and Concord, locations that figure prominently in her subjects’ lives. (MeganMarshallAuthor)





An Afternoon with Megan Marshall
Saturday, May 30th, 2 p.m.
Allendale Branch Library, 1130 S. Marengo Ave., Pasadena
For more info, contact Jean Penn at 1.626.744.7260
Or email

Copies of Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism and Margaret Fuller: A New American Life will be available for purchase and signing.


Only known daguerreotype of Margaret Fuller, by John Plumbe (1843)

Only known daguerreotype of Margaret Fuller, by John Plumbe (1843)





¹ MilestoneDocuments

², “An Outsize Intellect, Tilting at Obstacles” by Dwight Garner, 12 March 2013


Image, top right, partial engraving of Margaret Fuller: Public domain, U.S. Library of Congress, via Wikimedia Commons

Whole image of Fuller engraving: Chappel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Further information gleaned from



Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena