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Woman in the Nineteenth Century: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Criticism (Norton Critical Editions)

Woman in the Nineteenth Century: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Criticism (Norton Critical Editions) by Margaret Fuller, Larry J. Reynolds (Editor)

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Summary

From the Publisher

The text is that of the first edition and includes comprehensive textual annotations.

"Backgrounds" reveals the experiential basis for the text through autobiographical writings and selections from Fuller's recently published letters, journals, and "Boston Conversations."

"Criticism and Reviews" presents a superb selection of critical writing about the novel.

The critics include Orestes A. Brownson, A. G. M, Lydia Maria Child, Frederic Dan Huntington, Edgar A. Poe, Charles Lane, George Eliot, Margaret Vanderhaar Allen, David M. Robinson, Bell Gale Chevigny, Julie Ellison, Christina Zwarg, and Jeffery Steele.

A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.

Contemporary and Early Reviews

Review from the October 1855 issue of The North American Review

"Notice of Books" from the November 1855 issue of New Englander and Yale Review

Reviews

4 out of 5 stars Seminal early US survey of Women's Rights & Women's History, June 19, 2001

By a. holtzman (Baltimore, MD)

Margaret Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Century [1845]is one of the first US books that looked at the whole sweep of world history from a woman's point of view. It was based on her article that she'd written for the Dial magazine [which she'd edited along with Emerson]called the "Great Lawsuit". This book is than one of the basic works that formed and influenced the Women's Rights Movement in the US. The famous early US women's rights meeting held in Seneca Falls, NY. came just a few years after this book. Fuller's view of women throughout the ages also provides an historical perspective to the political and philosophical views of Mary Wollstonecraft's: The Vindication of the Rights of Women[1792]. But, this work is also interesting because of its international and cross-cultural perspective. And this Norton Critical edition is also preferable because unlike most [it not all] of the available editions it reprints the 1845 edition. This was the only one that Fuller herself prepared for publication. Most of the other editions continue to reprint later editions especially the 1855 edition which was prepared by Fuller's brother and included his own editing of the text. The Norton edition is further enhanced by a useful introduction, good notes and essays on the work. Until there is a much needed complete & scholarly edition of all of Fuller's works [or even a Library of America edition of Fuller's works]to match the recent complete edition of her letters this is the best available edition of Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Century.

3 out of 5 stars A Classic of Early Feminism, But You Owe Yourself A Better Edition, October 25, 2007

By John Matteson "John" (New York City, United States)

This review is from: Woman in the Nineteenth Century (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)

Not enough people read Margaret Fuller anymore. She was the first great female American intellectual. She lived a fascinating life and died a tragic death. She also wrote a classic of early feminist thinking, Woman in the Nineteenth Century -- required reading for anyone who cares about the history of women's rights. However, this is a book that you absolutely should NOT try to read in a Dover thrift edition. Fuller's references to her own reading and her historical moment are legion, and they are guaranteed to confuse the heck out of anyone who lacks deep background in the study of pre-Civil War American culture. The great virtue of Dover editions is that they are cheap. Their great disadvantage is that they offer no critical apparatus to help with comprehension. And Oh! does Fuller require critical apparatus. Without a hefty array of footnotes to guide you through, you are very likely to find this book opaque and frustrating. You may very well end up hating a book that greatly deserves to be loved. Go for the Norton Critical Edition instead -- it's well worth the extra investment!!


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