Men, Women, and Margaret Fuller: The Truth That Existed Between Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson and Their Circle of Transcendental Friends

Laurie James, Author Golden Heritage Press Inc $0 (508p) ISBN 978-0-944382-02-8
James ( Why Margaret Fuller Ossoli Is Forgotten ), an actress who has offered one-woman shows on Fuller, attempts to retrieve from obscurity a distinguished woman who was friend and colleague of the New England Transcendentalists. But in this undisciplined melange of trite observations and anecdotal information, the author fails to do justice to her subject. A fascinating character, Fuller maintained (in person and in letters) an invigorating dialogue with Ralph Waldo Emerson, taught in Bronson Alcott's Temple School, edited the Dial , wrote for the New York Daily Tribune and was active in the 1848 Italian unification movement. But skipping from topic to topic, James often employs an abrupt style in which paragraphs consist of one ostensibly profound sentence; at best annoying, the writing is at worst riddled with non sequiturs and inadvertent humor. The biographer's interpretative comments are sometimes more baffling than enlightening, and readers can only be offended by a biography that purports to be serious yet opens with the question, ``Did Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson have sex?'' (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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