Cover Image: Finding Margaret Fuller

Finding Margaret Fuller

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Member Reviews

Before reading this book, I knew very little about Margaret Fuller, even having studied the Transcendalists. Pataki's writing gave life, breath, and dimension to an important figure in American history that too few know about. Meeting...Finding Margaret Fuller in these pages will spark joy, curiosity, wonder, and a deep desire to live one's life boldly and without apology, just as Margaret Fuller did.

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Like the author says, why do we know who all these other famous writers from Concord are except for Margaret Fuller? I’m glad Allison Pataki uncovered her history and shared her in this fabulous book. What an amazing lady Margaret was, ahead of her time, blazing trails for women and holding her own with an impressive group of men. I’ve been to Concord and seen these famous author’s homes and their graves. So inspiring.

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Thank you kindly to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine, Ballantine Books, and Allison Pataki for the opportunity to read, "Finding Margaret Fuller." It was an absolute pleasure to read this historical fiction novel about such an interesting and amazing woman.

I was flabbergasted to learn about a female author who was friends with so many well known authors from the mid 1800's. Sarah Margaret Fuller, who went by Margaret, spent many summers in Concord, Massachusetts with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his wife, Lidian. While staying there she also met and befriended Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the Alcott family, including Louisa M. Alcott. Margaret Fuller became well known at that time as the best read woman (person) in America. She also wrote books that have been recognized as the first ever published feminist and women's rights books. She was also a teacher and eventually made her way to become a journalist for the New York Tribune. She was also sent to Europe as the first war correspondent in 1847. She made so many strides for women and the equal rights movement.

Margaret Fuller fell in love in her late thirties and had a child with an Italian man during the time she spent in war torn Europe. She wrote articles about the war going on over there (in what is now Italy) and sent them back to America. She eventually wanted to return to America to introduce her family and friends to her husband and child. After she finished writing her book about Europe she and her small family decided to board a cargo ship for America. Unfortunately, the ship got caught in a storm off Fireman's Island near New York. Margaret, her husband, and little boy all perished at sea, along with the only copy of the manuscript she had written while she was in Europe.

I find it so strange I've never heard anything about this incredible woman. While reading this story, I kept comparing the similarities between Margaret and Louisa May Alcott's character of Jo in Little Women. It surely appeared that Alcott thought highly of Margaret Fuller and then later gave some of Fuller's admirable qualities to her storybook characters.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the author's notes at the end of the book. She did a
wonderful job of explaining how she tried to stay as close to the historical facts as possible. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, especially on the subject of women's rights. #NetGalley #FindingMargaretFuller

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It's not often a novel introduces a reader to so many literary luminaries even while it entertains-but this does. I was not familiar with Margaret Fuller, whose life was entwined with the lives of many other writers, before this but wow. She was an intelligent, dynamic, and compelling figure who not only advocated for women's rights and abolition but also the transcendental movement. A writer, a critic, a war correspondent, a critic-she did it all. She lived a big life at a time when women didn't. Yes there was a whiff or two of scandal but that's not at the forefront-her incredible life and accomplishments are. I learned a great deal not only about Fuller but also about her peers (I admit to and recommend a bit of wikipedia). Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A great read.

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Being given access to read and review an ARC of Allison Pataki's latest book was an opportunity I could not refuse, even though I had no idea who Margaret Fuller was. However, having read several of this author's historical fiction novels focusing on lesser known women in history, I knew I would be in good hands. I was not mistaken.

Pataki depicts Fuller's life and how it existed within a global world backdrop. How did I not learn about Margaret Fuller, who hobnobbed with the families of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne and more, when she visited and stayed with them in Massachusetts? Or that she inspired the suffragettes, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.? With my pitiful world history knowledge, I didn't even realize the turmoil and independence efforts that were occurring in Italy's states during this same time.

There were times I admired Margaret, times when I couldn't relate to her at all, and still other times that I completely disagreed with her decisions and actions. But I think this is a testament to Pataki's excellent writing: to make this person seem real and not a caricature.
I'm so glad that I read this excellent historical fiction novel and will be recommending to friends and followers!

Thanks to #Netgalley #RandomHouse #Ballantine for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Finding Margaret Fuller is an epic reimagining of the life of Margaret Fuller, America’s forgotten leading lady and the central figure of a movement that defined a nation. Set in Massachusetts in 1836, the novel introduces us to a young, brazen, and unapologetically brilliant Margaret Fuller. She accepts an invitation from Ralph Waldo Emerson, the celebrated “Sage of Concord,” and becomes a pivotal figure among the Transcendentalists. Her influence extends to luminaries like Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau.

But Margaret craves more than literary salons and interpersonal drama. She seeks adventure, challenges, and new horizons. From hosting women-only literary gatherings to co-founding The Dial magazine, studying at Harvard, and sparring with Edgar Allan Poe, Margaret defies conventions. She even becomes the first female foreign news correspondent, mingling with luminaries like Frederic Chopin and Walt Whitman.

In Rome, Margaret finds passion, romance, and revolution, sparking an international scandal. As a trailblazer, she transcends rigid roles, advocating for women and humanity. Her story unfolds against a backdrop of historical events, revealing a fierce adventurer who changed history on her own terms.

Allison Pataki weaves a star-studded narrative, rich in historical details, celebrating Margaret Fuller’s indomitable spirit. This novel is a captivating tribute to a remarkable woman who left an indelible mark on the world. Reading this book during Women’s History Month was extra inspiring.

Thank you to New Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It releases on March 19th and you can find it at your favorite place to purchase books. Enjoy!

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Allison Pataki is always able to stir my curiosity about astonishing woman in history. Margaret Fuller is not a name that I recognized, yet I still knew I had to read this book, and I am so glad I did. Pataki captured my attention, and I was held in complete rapture as I devoured each page hungrily. Each glorious detail about Margaret Fuller's life was captured and it led me down a google rabbit hole. I had to keep looking up all Margaret's friends. There is no way one person knew all of these people of history. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allen Poe, and many more. Margaret knew each one, spent time in their homes, discussing every topic under the sun, played with their children, knew each one on such a level that made me jealous. She was an enigma to many. Known as the best-read person in the United States, I now have the job of helping to spread her story to everyone.

Margaret had the most unusual schooling given to her by her father. She was obviously well read, she was a teacher in her younger years, a newspaper editor, a war correspondent, writer, and the list goes on. Everyone knew her name and for what she stood. She lived all over the world and was able to write about them all. Bringing a new spin on issues at hand during the 1800s. I wonder what else she would have accomplished if her life did not end at the tender age of 40. I am completely fascinated by Margaret Fuller and you need to read this book. I promise you will fly through it, learning new and wild things about history. Thank you to Allison Pataki and Ballantine Books for my gifted copy.

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I had never read anything by Allison Pataki, nor had I ever heard of Margaret Fuller, yet the book sounded interesting, and it was. Margaret Fuller, author, lived for a time in Concord, as well as in other Massachusetts and New York towns before moving to Europe. Her story is a fascinating one, filled with other well known authors. I found it enjoyable and would like to read more about her. I also plan on reading more of Ms Pataki's books. Thanks to NetGalley, Ms Pataki, and Random House for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own.
I’ve read and enjoyed previous books by Allison Pataki, so I was, of course, looking forward to whatever she released next. And while I had never heard of Margaret Fuller prior to picking up Finding Margaret Fuller, some elements of the blurb appealed to me, like her associations with numerous famous figures, like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott, not to mention her involvement in the Transcendentalist movement, which I also knew a little about from my brief research into the Alcott family. Upon reading about her, and how she was a trailblazer, revolutionary, and rebel who defied convention in many ways, it’s not shocking that she is forgotten while many of her contemporaries are celebrated, even if some of those contemporaries meant to honor her in their works.
Margaret is an interesting historical heroine to follow, because of all the amazing things she did. I loved how she was always in the thick of change for one reason or another, from advocating for women’s rights to being in the thick of the revolutions in Europe and later helps in the fight for Italian unification, after being offered the position of foreign correspondent, not to mention flouting convention on a personal level to engage in a love affair with an Italian count and becomes pregnant out of wedlock, and later marrying him. But there is also a sense of vulnerability to her too, with the deep fear of dying at sea, something that would eventually befall her.
While this book covers quite a bit of her life, she has so much going on, and Pataki captures it in enough captivating detail that there is rarely a dull moment. The story is well-paced and consistently engaging throughout.
This is a wonderful tribute to a woman that history has sadly not properly given her due. If you’re interested in historical fiction about obscure historical, yet fascinating historical figures, I’d recommend checking this out!

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Thank you to Random House, Ballantine, and Net Galley for this ARC of Finding Margaret Fuller by Allison Pataki in exchange for an honest review.

I bet you've heard of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. All were famous writers and transcendentalists. But I bet you didn't know about Margaret Fuller-who was one of the only woman transcendentalists.

Margaret Fuller was the first born in her family. Her father, wanting a boy, didn't allow Margaret to play or take part in traditional activities that children usually do. Instead, she was brought up with books and studying. Margaret Fuller earned a reputation in the 19th century as "The Most Well Read Person." She believed in equality for all.

I have read many of Pataki's historical fiction books, and Finding Margaret Fuller did not disappoint. I adored it from beginning to end. We get to see how the life of Fuller played out. From her first meetings in Concord with the famed Emerson, to her crossing the ocean to Europe to become the first newspaper correspondent to ever cover news in Europe. She was the influence for Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter and an inspiration for a young Louisa May Alcott. Margaret wrote hundreds of articles and books promoting unity. She was part of the women's rights campaign. She paved the way for so many changes that were to come.

I loved reading about this strong independent woman, who definitely didn't get enough credit for all that she brought to the table. I highly recommend this fascinating novel.

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This was a good historical fiction book about a lady that I had never heard of. Margaret Fuller had a very interesting life and got to meet a lot of (now) well-known authors. Life was not easy for women back in the 19th century, and Margaret was a warrior women’s right. As a strong and fearless woman she was the first American foreign correspondent. Margaret was also the first woman aloud in the Harvard library! She led a fascinating life filled with adventures, scandals, but also a joy for life.
This book is well worth a read, especially if you are interested in history. I relished learning more about a woman that history forgotten. Margaret Fuller was a trailblazer who knew what she wanted.

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I appreciate the early review copy of Allison Pataki's Finding Margaret Fuller, I was a fan of her previous fictional but fact based book about Marjorie Post and am glad I got a chance to return to this author's engaging, detailed way of highlighting lesser known women in history. I don't like historical fiction but I do love books that give me a chance to feel immersed in a life over many years (I love stories that span time), that really make a character not just about the time they lived in but also real and present and relevant outside of time and place. Pataki for me does this in Finding Margaret Fuller, bringing in a strong woman, a sense of adventure and timelessness, and surrounding me with literary giants from Fuller's inner circle, making her a central figure in that world and space.

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Finding Margaret Fuller
By: Allison Pataki
Publishing: March 19, 2024
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Length: 416 pages


1836-This novel is so full of richness. I had not heard of Margaret Fuller, but her life was extraordinary.

She spends so much time with some of the literary giants. Ralph Waldo Emerson is touched by her words and gives her an opportunity to stay with him and meet his eclectic array of friends. She meets Henry Thoreau and Bronson Alcott who daughters include the impressionable Louisa May Alcott, who is a kindred spirit. Bronson was not a nice man. He gave her a job as a teacher which led to a toxic relationship, but Margaret was close with his family.

After having many opportunities where women were not included, she was more determined to make her mark in this world. She was not swayed by naysayers. After some published work she gets a job at the New-York Tribune. After success there her boss gives her an assignment to cover news in Europe.

She meets a charming Italian man and ends up having a child.

I was absolutely fascinating by her life and read more about her. She was the first American female correspondent and a women’s writes advocate.

If you love novels about strong females, I highly recommend this one.

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A cast of well known, sometimes scandalous, historical characters did not make this any easier for me to really enjoy. This title had all the hallmarks l normally love in historical fiction. The trail was populated with people I’ve met in studies and literature. Despite this I didn’t relate to the story.
Margaret Fuller was obviously a determined force but I was not engaging with her.

A Random House-Ballantine ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.

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I went into this book with high expectations based on other review I've seen. Unfortunately it fell flat for me. It read more like a name dropping who's who of the literary world. I understand why others liked it so much, because Margaret Fuller is a fascinating woman, but for me personally, it did not work.

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Alison Pataki has a marvelous talent on shedding light on women history has forgotten. By the end of Finding Margaret Fuller, I too couldn't believe that history has overlooked this woman who was a trail blazer and radical thinker of her day, who rubbed elbows with her contemporary literati, and forged the way for the rights and education of women. To imagine what he legacy may have been if her life hadn't been cut short!

Pataki does a wonderful job of bringing to life all these amazing people Margaret brought into her inner circle. The pacing moved a pace that didn't leave any section dragging. There is a slight distance from the story I felt with the writing, but I think after also having read Pataki's previous book on Marjorie Post I think this is just her writing style.

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What a fascinating person you did not know that you did not know. I had never heard of Margaret Fuller until this book. She was such a strong women and ahead of her time. I so enjoyed reading about her life I could not put this down. The famous authors she met do intriguing. Such a tragedy how it ends. She had so much more to give to the women's movement.

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Pataki has delivered again - taking a little know woman and bringing her amazing life to light, leaving you scratching your head asking yourself “how haveI never heard of Margaret Fuller?” What an amazing period of thinkers and writers that have shaped our literary world. It was interesting to read how connected they were.

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Dear Fellow Reader,

Happy Spring! I know I am a bit ahead of myself by saying that, but I want to push the season. I want to be warm, work in the yard, and stop wearing 3 shirts at a time. (Give me a break. I seem to run cold.)

Back in February of 2022, I reviewed a book by Allison Pataki. The name of the book was The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post. ( I enjoyed the book and when I saw a new book by Allison Pataki, I was eager to read it. I had heard of Marjorie Post when I read the book about her but with the new book, Finding Margaret Fuller, I had never heard of Margaret Fuller.

Margaret Fuller was a real person. Let me stop here and suggest that you not do what I did. I looked up Margaret Fuller and read about her. It was a mistake. It affected my reading of the book. Finding out about her from the book would have been much better. I still enjoyed the book, but it would have been better if I didn’t know the story of her life.

With that as a proviso, let me give you a little bit about Margaret Fuller’s life. Margaret Fuller was a beautiful, educated woman. When the book opens, she meets Ralph Waldo Emerson for the first time.

“The Most Well-Read Woman in America,” he says with a flourish of his long-finger hands, then he sets his gaze back on me.” That’s what they call you if I’m not mistaken?”

“Person,” I reply, my voice quiet but certainly audible.

Emerson tilts his head, eyeing me with a bemused expression. “Pardon?”

“Person,” I state again, this time just slightly louder. “What I’ve been called is ‘the Most Well-Read Person in America.’”

Margaret Fuller’s father was her teacher. He taught her Latin, Greek, and everything he would have taught a son. At the time, daughters were not taught the same as sons. Daughters were educated to be ladies while sons were educated. As a result, Margaret could translate Goethe from German and speak several languages. She was taught to think and analyze what she read and heard.

Margaret Fuller was part of the Transcendentalist movement which started in 1836. She was friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. She went on to meet Edgar Allen Poe, George Sand, Fredrick Chopin, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

The story is interesting and timeless. Margaret Fuller’s beliefs are still pertinent these days. She believed in equality. She believed in freedom and respect for all people.

Yes, I recommend this book. I enjoyed reading it. She was an important person in her time and she has been forgotten. Her history is fascinating. BUT DON’T RUIN IT AND READ ABOUT HER BEFORE READING THE BOOK.

I was given a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Thanks for reading!

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This is another book about someone I knew nothing about. It’s well written even if it did start out rather slow. Margaret is a formidable woman and an inspiration for the times. It was interesting to read about some other well known authors she knew along the way. It’s also another good one by this author.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy

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