Excerpt from Margaret Fuller a Psychological Biography
The life of Margaret Fuller has been the happy hunting-ground of imaginative biographers. The Bacchante, the Sybil, the Pythoness, - these were the usual clarifying terms in which she was explained to the generations which succeeded her. After this Margaret myth had been current for more than thirty years, Mr. Thomas Wentworth Higginson sought to inject some realism into the picture. In his excellent biography, he politely denounced the romantic legend and represented Margaret as the woman of action which she really was. But he was chiefly concerned with the literary pioneer, and Margaret was, after all, more interesting as a personality than as a writer. About the same time, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe composed another life, emphasizing Margaret's pioneer work for the emancipation of women and also eliminating the "Pythian disguise," the "viraginian aspect," and all the rest of the inflamed rhetoric which had contributed so largely to Margaret's previous reputation. But Mrs. Howe was so magnificently impersonal, that she leaves us more in the dark than ever as to what manner of woman this really was who was so startling and upsetting to her own generation.
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