Book Reviews -- Margaret Fuller's New York Journalism: A Biographical Essay and Key Writings Edited by Catherine C. Mitchell

Article excerpt

Mitchell, Catherine C., ed. Margaret Fuller's New York Journalism: A Biographical Essay and Key Writings. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1995. 240 pp. $32.50.

Margaret Fuller's journalistic career has been lightly brushed over as incidental to her literary accomplishments, but Catherine Mitchell's study is dedicated to filling that gap in our knowledge. Fuller's twenty months in charge of the literary department of Horace Greeley's New York Tribune from 1844-1846 is well-documented and analyzed in this book of key writings.

Mitchell is careful to provide the context for evaluating Fuller's brief but significant journalistic life in New York City. It is important to consider this volume of writings in terms of the writing and cultural standards of pre-Civil War America, and this the editor wisely does. She seeks to refute some of the myths and criticisms of Fuller's work habits, which were constrained by the need for a well-educated lady to work at home and to stick to the woman's sphere in writing. As Mitchell points out, Fuller did this, but at the same time took up radical ideas and pursued completion of her study of Woman in the Nineteenth Century, the book that solidified her place in American literary history. …