Read Woman In The Nineteenth Century by Margaret Fuller Online

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When first published in 1845, Woman in the Nineteenth Century was one of the most popular and influential works of feminism in its time, selling out in its first edition within a week. However, this major work by Margaret Fuller has not been widely available to modern readers before now. This edition presents the complete text of Fuller's famous work, as well as a collectiWhen first published in 1845, Woman in the Nineteenth Century was one of the most popular and influential works of feminism in its time, selling out in its first edition within a week. However, this major work by Margaret Fuller has not been widely available to modern readers before now. This edition presents the complete text of Fuller's famous work, as well as a collection of other important writings that provide an expansive vision of Fuller's thought. Ranging widely from the Woman Question to the European revolutionary movements in which she played a direct part, her thought prefigures important themes in modern feminism....

Title : Woman In The Nineteenth Century
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ISBN : 9780393006155
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 212 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Woman In The Nineteenth Century Reviews

  • Kate
    2018-12-03 14:53

    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 Even with the added knowledge, her writing style is high 19th century style, with outdated words and phrases that make it hard to plow through by a modern reader. It reminded me of a section from her biography (referenced above) describing outsiders of her circle poking fun at the Transcendentalists: "They read Dante in the original Italian, Goethe in the original German, and Fuller in the original English."Style aside...The first portion of this book is all foundational, where Fuller describes ideals of women in general through the ages, and gives examples of women living outside prescribed norms and their fates.The real meat is in the last portion, where she lays aside the work of others and actually speaks to the reader. She argues that by making women the property of men, society is not only depriving women of their full potential, but also men of having equal partners. Additionally, she decries the idea that there are feminine qualities and masculine qualities, and that men are not allowed to be feminine and women are not allowed to be masculine. Particularly illustrating is her example of the girl who shows interest in carpentry tools but is told that such an endeavor is not intended for her sex. As Fuller declares, "Let there be women sea captains!" if the women are so inclined.I think the next step is to find more of Fuller's work, preferably the essays she wrote for the Dial or her journalistic endeavors, and follow her train of thought.

  • Beth
    2018-11-21 13:52

    Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) was one of the earliest American feminist writers. She was also the coeditor of the Transcendentalist journal, The Dial. This book, first published in 1845, is an expanded edition of an essay written in 1843. It's short, but pretty dense and wide-ranging, covering a lot of historical and philosophical ground. It's hard to tell sometimes which parts of the essays are central to her argument and which are tangents, but I have selected some of my favorite parts below. "Man no longer paints his proper nature in some form, and says, 'Prometheus had it; it is God-like;' but "Man must have it; it is human." However disputed by many, however ignorantly used, or falsified by those who do receive it, the fact of an universal, unceasing revelation has been too clearly stated in words to be lost sight of in thought; and sermons preached from the text, 'Be ye perfect,' are the only sermons of a pervasive and deep-searching influence. But, among those who meditate upon this text, there is a great difference of view as to the way in which perfection shall be sought." (She goes on to describe three different approaches to seeking wisdom - intellectual activity; life experience; and contemplation)"A better comment could not be made on what is required to perfect Man, and place him in that superior position for which he was designed, than by the interpretation of Bacon upon the legends of the Syren coast "When the wise Ulysses passed," says he, "he caused his mariners to stop their ears, with wax, knowing there was in them no power to resist the lure of that voluptuous song. But he, the much experienced man, who wished to be experienced in all, and use all to the service of wisdom, desired to hear the song that he might understand its meaning. Yet, distrusting his own power to be firm in his better purpose, he caused himself to be bound to the mast, that he might be kept secure against his own weakness. But Orpheus passed unfettered, so absorbed in singing hymns to the gods that he could not even hear those sounds of degrading enchantment.""Human beings are not so constituted that they can live without expansion. If they do not get it in one way, they must in another, or perish.""This author, beginning like the many in assault upon bad institutions, and external ills, yet deepening the experience through comparative freedom, sees at last that the only efficient remedy must come from individual character. These bad institutions, indeed, it may always be replied, prevent individuals from forming good character, therefore we must remove them. Agreed; yet keep steadily the higher aim in view. Could you clear away all the bad forms of society, it is vain, unless the individual begin to be ready for better.""Another sign of the times is furnished by the triumphs of Female Authorship. These have been great, and are constantly increasing. Women have taken possession of so many provinces for which men had pronounced them unfit, that, though these still declare there are some inaccessible to them, it is difficult to say just where they must stop."

  • tomasawyer
    2018-11-23 15:40

    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), mais aussi des vieilles filles célibataires et de celles qui consacrent leurs vies à un absolu. J'crois qu'il existe une version enrichie de la traduction que j'ai lue mais celle-ci aborde déjà pas mal d'exemples concrets. Ca donne envie d'approfondir le sujet. Si je devais résumer le livre, je dirais qu'il donne soif de liberté pour soi et pour les autres.

  • Tamara
    2018-11-15 15:02

    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 how education will improve them as wives and mothers. She also tries to point out that there are roles for women outside that of wife and mother.

  • Brianna
    2018-11-14 13:59

    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.

  • Natasha Marie Marie
    2018-11-19 18:04

    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 (such as the suggestion that single women should not be looked down upon because they have the opportunity to be closer to God than married people), it is still a marvelous argument for the equality of men and women. It reasons that the path to true enlightenment will only take place when both sexes enjoy all the same rights and privileges.While there are sure to be certain points that many readers will find distasteful in this modern age, it is a worthwhile read for any feminist. Exploring the ideas of our ancestors as they fought for equality is always an important reminder of how far we have come and how far we still need to go. It also, I think, gives us a special appreciation for life during that time.

  • Lauren
    2018-11-28 14:46

    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 life, however her use of this metaphor explicitly includes women. Women, she writes, cannot possibly be equal to men until their education focuses not on cultivating marriageable qualities, but intellectual ones. Fuller continues her expansion of Emerson’s and Thoreau’s Transcendentalist beliefs to connect non-conformism to women as well. She asserts that women have an innate ability to sense that nature connects all living beings. When this sense is channeled into individual genius, women are likely to want to become nonconformists because they see the pervasive influence of conformity in society. In Fuller’s view, women have more difficulty breaking free of the limitations Emerson and Thoreau see in society than men. Women of her time, Fuller writes, are more constrained by social expectations of decorum. In Fuller’s view, Nature is more powerful than all human enterprise, and, as she declares on page 69, “provides exceptions to every rule”. Nature does not establish gender roles: these are human limitations, and Fuller hopes that her society will one day be able to overcome them. In Nature, creativity is not inherent to one gender, but is a force which can be attained by all human beings.

  • Michelle
    2018-11-11 14:58

    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. Like many of the Transcendentalists, if not all, Fuller's beliefs included equality for all people, regardless of race, creed, or gender. It was surprising to me how infrequently I found her views dated (once I acclimated to the Christian worldview she was writing from). Even in Mystique, I had a hard time swallowing her connection between homosexuality and overbearing mothers who live vicariously through their children. I guess Fuller has the upper-hand in that department because homosexuality plays no role in her work.I love the "shame on you tone" of many portions of this book. It is, after all, addressed towards the men who in many ways expect as little of themselves morally as they expect of women intellectually. That Fuller looks not for great reforms (abolition is not the focus of this work), but for individual development as a means of bettering the world in honorable, and this text is a beautiful read once you get started on it.

  • Ben
    2018-11-30 18:48

    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. Then she will not make an imperfect man her god, and thus sink to idolatry. Then she will not take what is not fit for her from a sense of weakness and poverty. Then, if she finds what she needs in man embodied, she will know how to love, and be worthy of being loved.By being more of a soul, she will not be less woman, for nature is perfected through spirit.Now there is no woman, only an overgrown child.

  • T.Kay Browning
    2018-12-08 21:03

    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.

  • Kristi
    2018-12-07 18:55

    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
    2018-11-29 22:09

    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.

  • Julie
    2018-11-20 16:43

    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.

  • Jasmine
    2018-11-11 13:46

    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!

  • Krisbfit
    2018-12-05 20:05

    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
    2018-11-23 15:54

    Quintessence of feminism, and its direct descent from idealism of transcendentalism, which embraced abolitionism and the unfulfilled agenda of the American Revolution.

  • Enzo
    2018-11-18 15:05

    I read only the main text in this volume

  • Fekete Macska
    2018-11-25 17:58

    The style is definitely a challenge sometimes, but this essay is truly an important milestone in the shaping of feminist thinking.

  • Laura
    2018-12-08 14:08

    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.

  • Keith
    2018-12-03 19:53

    Better than Emerson in talking about transcendentalism. More realistic view on society, as though she actually understood other people.

  • Hannah
    2018-11-19 20:54

    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.

  • Erika
    2018-11-26 16:39

    Daddy gave this book to me June 2014...very interesting and personal writing

  • mis fit
    2018-11-24 16:00

    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
    2018-11-27 14:51

    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.

  • Devon
    2018-11-11 14:04

    Essential readings on feminism. MF, you Rock.