Finding Margaret Fuller: A Novel (Hardcover)
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An epic imagining of the life of Margaret Fuller—America’s forgotten leading lady and the central figure of a movement that defined a nation—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post
Young, brazen, beautiful, and unapologetically brilliant, Margaret Fuller accepts an invitation from Ralph Waldo Emerson, the celebrated Sage of Concord, to meet his coterie of enlightened friends. There she becomes “the radiant genius and fiery heart” of the Transcendentalists, a role model to a young Louisa May Alcott, an inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne and the scandalous Scarlet Letter, a friend to Henry David Thoreau as he ventures out to Walden Pond . . . and a muse to Emerson. But Margaret craves more than poetry and interpersonal drama, and her restless soul needs new challenges and adventures.
And so she charts a singular course against a backdrop of dizzying historical drama: From Boston, where she hosts a salon for students like Elizabeth Cady Stanton; to the editorial meetings of The Dial magazine, where she hones her pen as its co-founder; to Harvard’s library, where she is the first woman permitted entry; to the gritty New York streets where she spars with Edgar Allan Poe and reports on Frederick Douglass. Margaret defies conventions time and again as an activist for women and an advocate for humanity, earning admirers and critics alike.
When the legendary editor Horace Greeley offers her an assignment in Europe, Margaret again makes history as the first female foreign news correspondent, mingling with luminaries like Frédéric Chopin, William Wordsworth, George Sand and more. But it is in Rome that she finds a world of passion, romance, and revolution, taking a Roman count as a lover—and sparking an international scandal. Evolving yet again into the roles of mother and countess, Margaret enters the fight for Italy’s unification.
With a star-studded cast and sweeping, epic historical events, this is a story of an inspiring trailblazer, a woman who loved big and lived even bigger—a fierce adventurer who transcended the rigid roles ascribed to women and changed history, all on her own terms.
About the Author
Allison Pataki is the New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor’s Wife, The Accidental Empress, Sisi, The Queen’s Fortune, and The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post, as well as the nonfiction memoir Beauty in the Broken Places. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages. A former news writer and producer, Pataki has written for The New York Times, USA Today, and other outlets. She has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, Good Day New York, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Allison Pataki graduated cum laude from Yale University and lives in New York with her husband and family.
“What a woman! What a story! Whether exploring Margaret’s remarkable friendships or delving into her crucial legacy as a journalist, writer, and feminist, Finding Margaret Fuller promises to transform every reader it touches—much like Margaret Fuller herself.”—Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Personal Librarian
“Pataki digs into the fascinating and all-too-short life of Margaret Fuller, a trailblazing 19th-century writer whose circle of contemporaries included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini, and the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. . . . all of us who later benefitted from the march toward equal rights for women should read this book, which honors an early feminist icon who broke nearly every rule laid out for her and in doing so, inspired a generation and led the way into a brighter future with courage and heart.”—Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Daughter
“Finding Margaret Fuller is a gem of a read, a bold portrait of a trailblazing woman who defied conventions to live life on her own terms, supported by a cast of so many literary legends that will keep readers turning the pages to find out who shows up next.”—Stephanie Marie Thornton, USA Today bestselling author of Her Lost Words
“Literature lovers rejoice! Finding Margaret Fuller is a novel in which all of your heroes appear as characters, the most formidable being Margaret herself, a woman who had the courage and smarts to stand at the center of Transcendentalism and inspire a generation of American thought. Allison Pataki’s writing is at once gentle and propulsive. I couldn’t put this one down.”—Annabel Monaghan, bestselling author of Nora Goes Off Script
“A fascinating novel that brings this lesser-known transcendentalist writer to life in all her complicated brilliance and beauty . . . Filled with hope and love, heartbreak and sorrow, this book about the true mother of the American women’s rights movement is not to be missed.”—Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost