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Woman in the Nineteenth Century

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  403 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
A woman of many gifts, Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) is most aptly remembered as America's first true feminist. In her brief yet fruitful life, she was variously author, editor, literary and social critic, journalist, poet, and revolutionary. She was also one of the few female members of the prestigious Transcendentalist movement, whose ranks included Ralph Waldo Emerson, He ...more
Paperback, 132 pages
Published January 26th 1999 by Dover Publications (first published January 1st 1845)
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Mar 12, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it
I had to read some of Margaret Fuller's work after finishing The Lives of Margaret Fuller recently. Since I'm an ardent feminist, I decided to start with Women in the Nineteenth Century.

I'll admit, it's difficult to read. Fuller was highly educated and brings in many references to classical works and current events that meant I often had to stop reading to check a reference on Wikipedia. Even with the added knowledge, her writing style is high 19th century style, with outdated words and phrases
Jan 19, 2016 tomasawyer rated it it was amazing
Un livre qui analyse la place des femmes dans la société jusqu'au 19ème siècle, sous un angle assez plaisant, celui de la liberté individuelle à disposer de sa vie. Une manière habile de désamorcer tout réflexe sexiste chez le lecteur masculin comme c'est souvent le cas quand le débat se présente sous la forme d'une guerre des sexes. Il est aussi question du rôle des femmes dans la mythologie, des femmes de pouvoir à travers les siècles, du mariage et du couple sous toutes ses formes (hétéros), ...more
Sep 02, 2008 Tamara rated it liked it
Reading this takes effort but is worthwhile. There are references to Latin and Greek classical works as well as writers of the time period that I have not read or read so long ago I didn't catch the allusion. Spent a great deal of time flipping to footnotes.

Anyone interested in development of feminism should read this book. If only to see how far things have come. A good part of the book is spent justifying education for women, not just higher education, education period. The writer points out
Feb 14, 2012 Brianna rated it liked it
I find it amusing that this was written in the nineteenth century. It is now the twenty-first century and we still have not achieved everything Margaret Fuller wrote about in this essay.
This essay is about Feminism. Feminism is the radical notion that women are people, just like everyone else, and should be treated as such.
Feb 03, 2015 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In "Woman in the Nineteenth Century", Margaret Fuller expresses beliefs typical to the American Transcendentalist movement; however she expands those beliefs to apply specifically to women’s rights. Fuller argues that women deserve a more comprehensive education than is often available in her time period. She holds that the environment in which a woman is raised contributes to her potential for intelligence as an adult. Like Emerson and Thoreau, Fuller uses nature imagery as a metaphor for human ...more
Margaret Fuller wrote Woman in the Nineteenth Century in the 1840's, one of the first tracts to eloquently address the necessity of greater equality for women. It is interesting to read this having already read The Feminine Mystique and to see many of the same points being made, particularly the ones about how it is unfair for men to be stuck with uneducated, unfulfilled women as mothers and wives.
In the same breath that she advocates for women, Fuller advocates for the abolition of slavery. Lik
Natasha Marie Marie
Apr 02, 2016 Natasha Marie Marie rated it it was amazing
First written as an essay in 1843 (it would be revised and published as a book two years later) it would be easy to assume that little contained in its pages would have any relevance on the world in which we live today. While I would love to confirm those assumptions, sadly, I cannot. Despite all the ground gained for women's rights there is still much to be done and this book perfectly highlights that.

While the book contains predominately religious overtones that might put some people off (suc
Dec 17, 2012 Ben rated it really liked it
I have urged upon the sex self-subsistence in its two forms of self-reliance and self-impulse, because I believe them to be the needed means of the present juncture.

I have urged on woman independence of man, not that I do not think the sexes mutually needed by one another, but because in woman this fact has led to an excessive devotion, which has cooled love, degraded marriage, and prevented either sex from being what it should be to itself or the other.

I wish woman to live, first for God's sake
T.Kay Browning
Feb 02, 2015 T.Kay Browning rated it really liked it
Took some slogging near the end, but a great read overall. I had to keep reminding myself that this voice that seems to be at the center of the discourse, informed of all opinions, would likely have been severely marginalized at the time. She doesn't write at all like a marginalized person, but instead one claiming her space in the intellectual world.

I do have to say that the racist references to Native Americans were sorrowing and seemed terribly out of place.
Nov 28, 2014 Kristi rated it it was amazing
Fuller’s expanded version of her essay “The Great Lawsuit…” In this work Fuller argues for the equality of men and women, finding variations of masculinity and femininity in both sexes. Yet Fuller acknowledges gender differences. Fuller’s treatise is concerned with the issues of prostitution, slavery, but more essentially with marriage and employment reform for women.
Devyn Herron
Not the easiest book to read, but this was a really great book and had so many great historical references to the strength of woman of this past during a very difficult time for women in the 19th century.
Feb 17, 2016 Julie rated it liked it
Man, this was difficult to get to. I am extremely familiar with Victorian literature and style, yet I found this agonising to read. Still, I found it relevant even today, and found myself nodding along to many passages.
Jul 10, 2013 Jasmine rated it really liked it
Amazing. Extremely intelligent woman writing great feminist prose much ahead of her time. I have a few issues on the extreme focus on hetero marriage and Christianity, but given the time and the audience it's obvious why. Love her!
Sep 07, 2009 Krisbfit rated it it was amazing
Most intellectual argument of the social position of women in the 19th Century. A "blue stocking" of her day. The best 19th Century feminist author who was a beacon for women's rights through multiple allusions to women in history who were leaders and intellectual. Fascinating book!
James Sager
Quintessence of feminism, and its direct descent from idealism of transcendentalism, which embraced abolitionism and the unfulfilled agenda of the American Revolution.
Feb 23, 2011 Enzo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read only the main text in this volume
Fekete Macska
Aug 01, 2013 Fekete Macska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The style is definitely a challenge sometimes, but this essay is truly an important milestone in the shaping of feminist thinking.
May 09, 2009 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanticism, feminism
This book is dense, but absolutely brilliant. In some ways, it reminds me of "The Waste Land" with its vast amount of references. Good read, but not for the faint of heart.
Feb 05, 2013 Keith rated it it was ok
Better than Emerson in talking about transcendentalism. More realistic view on society, as though she actually understood other people.
Feb 06, 2012 Hannah rated it it was ok
Her essay was better than Emerson's, but it is only a slight improvement since hers lacks structure and organization as well. I read it for class.
Daddy gave this book to me June 2014...very interesting and personal writing
mis fit
Mar 27, 2015 mis fit added it
Shelves: feminism
um, guess what i wasn't reading when i was reading all those sociology books? the transcendentalists! margaret fuller is a real character.
James Sager
This is one of the earliest and most cogent expositions of feminism I have ever read, and I especially treasure it for its Americanism and its clarity.
Jun 15, 2009 Devon rated it really liked it
Essential readings on feminism. MF, you Rock.
Julie Preston Sterr
Julie Preston Sterr rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2013
Andy rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2015
wanderingnomad rated it it was amazing
Oct 02, 2015
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Dec 14, 2016
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Feb 19, 2011
Sarah rated it really liked it
Oct 24, 2008
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I'm Translating This Book! 1 3 Aug 06, 2013 11:36PM  
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  • The Purple Decades - A Reader
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  • The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
  • The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism
  • The Portable Emerson
  • Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives
  • Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History
  • Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity
  • Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women
  • A History of American Higher Education
  • Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America
  • Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America
  • Visual And Other Pleasures
  • The Celestial Railroad and Other Stories
  • Louisa May Alcott Unmasked: Collected Thrillers
  • The Creation of Feminist Consciousness: From the Middle Ages to Eighteen-Seventy
Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli, more commonly known as Margaret Fuller, (May 23, 1810 – July 19, 1850) was a journalist, critic and women's rights activist associated with the American transcendental movement. She was the first full-time female book reviewer in journalism. Her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century is considered the first major feminist work in the United States.

Born Sarah Margaret Fu
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“Let every woman, who has once begun to think, examine herself” 11 likes
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