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Book Talk, Megan Marshall, Margaret Fuller: A New American Life

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Margaret Fuller: A New American LifeImage courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

From an early age, Margaret Fuller dazzled New England’s intelligentsia. Her famous Conversations changed women’s sense of how they could think and live; her editorship of the Dial shaped American Romanticism. Thoreau’s first editor, Emerson’s close friend, and America’s first female war correspondent, Margaret Fuller was a powerful intellect and a complex woman whose life was marked by both triumph and tragedy.

In this book talk, Megan Marshall tells the story of how Fuller, tired of Boston, accepted Horace Greeley’s offer to be the New York Tribune’s front page columnist. The move unleashed within her a crusading concern for the urban poor and the plight of prostitutes, and a hunger for passionate experience. And she found it: in Italy as a foreign correspondent, Fuller took a secret lover, wrote dispatches on the brutal 1849 Siege of Rome, and gave birth to a son.

When all three died in a shipwreck off Fire Island shortly after Fuller’s fortieth birthday, the sense and passion of her life’s work were eclipsed by tragedy and scandal. Ms. Marshall’s account brings a new appreciation of this overlooked American heroine whose heart—as well as, more famously, her head—informed her experience.

Megan Marshall is the author of The Peabody Sisters, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Book Review, and Slate. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEH fellowships, she teaches in the MFA program at Emerson College.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.

Book Sales:  Megan Marshall will sign copies of her book  following the lecture, books will be provided for sale by Zimmara. If you wish to reserve or purchase a book or books in advance, please visit Zimmara or call 617-651-1627.

The Boston Globe article

Megan Marshall's Website

The New York Times Book Review


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Auto-generated captions are available for most virtual programs. To request live captioning or other accommodations, please contact Hannah Weisman at or 617-720-7617 at least four business days prior to the event.