By Charles M. Capper
With this first volume of a two-part biography of the Transcendentalist critic and feminist leader, Margaret Fuller, Capper has launched the premier modern biography of early America's best-known intellectual woman. Based on a thorough examination of all the first-hand sources, many of them never before used, this volume is filled with original portraits of Fuller's numerous friends and colleagues and the influential movements that enveloped them. Writing with a strong narrative sweep, Capper focuses on the central problem of Fuller's life--her identity as a female intellectual--and presents the first biography of Fuller to do full justice to its engrossing subject. This first volume chronicles Fuller's "private years": her gradual, tangled, but fascinating emergence out of the "private" life of family, study, Boston-Cambridge socializing, and anonymous magazine-writing, to the beginnings of her rebirth as antebellum America's female prophet-critic. Capper's biography is at once an evocative portrayal of an extraordinary woman and a comprehensive study of an avant-garde American intellectual type at the beginning of its first creation.