Pulitzer Prize, Biography, 2014
From an early age, Margaret Fuller provoked and dazzled New England’s intellectual elite. Her famous Conversations changed women’s sense of how they could think and live; her editorship of the Transcendentalist literary journal the Dial shaped American Romanticism. Now, Megan Marshall, whose acclaimed The Peabody Sisters "discovered" three fascinating women, has done it again: No biography of Fuller has made her ideas so alive or her life so moving. Marshall tells the story of how Fuller, tired of Boston, accepted Horace Greeley’s offer to be the New-York Tribune’s front-page columnist. The move unleashed a crusading concern for the urban poor and the plight of prostitutes, and a late-in-life hunger for passionate experience. In Italy as a foreign correspondent, Fuller took a secret lover, a young officer in the Roman Guard; she wrote dispatches on the brutal 1849 Siege of Rome; and she gave birth to a son. Yet, when all three died in a shipwreck off Fire Island shortly after Fuller’s 40th birthday, the sense and passion of her life’s work were eclipsed by tragedy and scandal. Marshall’s inspired account brings an American heroine back to indelible life.
Earphones Award, 2014
"Cynthia Barrett's witty, intelligent narration enlivens Marshall's 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Margaret Fuller.... Barrett brings humanity to Marshall's impeccable research, introducing an extraordinary woman whose life was shaped by her struggle for gender equality and touched by joy, scandal, and tragedy." (AudioFile)
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Had to stop listening
Yes for Marshall, no for Barrett
I have not.
Everything. I had to stop listening because her narration was driving me crazy. She over-enunciated, had little variety in her tone, and frequently mispronounced words or incorrectly inflected phrases, so much so that it threw me out of the story.
- Jane Schneeloch
A masterpiece of a biography
- M. Kline