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Fuller, Margaret) Higginson, Thomas Wentworth.

American Men of Letters: Margaret Fuller Ossoli.

Book

Higginson's Biography Of His Friend Margaret Fuller
Inscribed To Her Niece
With Hand Corrections
[Fuller, Margaret]. Higginson, Thomas Wentworth. American Men of Letters: Margaret Fuller Ossoli. Edited by Warner, Charles Dudley. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Co., 1884.
      
12mo.; correction in light gray ink on page 191 was almost certainly made by Higginson (the printed text reads "the present writer spent two happy days on the Rhine, so lately as 1876, in following out the traces of two impetuous and dreamy young women"-the marginal notation corrects the date from 1876 to 1878); marginal penciling on pp. 30-31 calls attention to one of many references to Ellen Fuller (Channing) and William Emery Channing, Margaret Fuller Loring's parents; frontispiece bears an engraving of Margaret Fuller by F.T. Stuart, along with a facsimile of her signature; bound in maroon diagonal cloth, gilt stamped on front board and spine; t.e.g; spine sunned as is bottom edge of front panel about ½"; back panel rubbed at edge about 3" x 1"; a touch of foxing to fore-edge.
First Edition, Inscribed by the author on the half-title to Margaret Fuller's Niece: Margaret Fuller Loring / with the author's love / Cambridge. May 9, 1884. This volume for the inaptly titled "American Men of Letters Series" is one of the most important biographies of the writer, activist, and philosopher Sarah Margaret Fuller.
Higginson (1823-1911), abolitionist, suffrage advocate, advocate of Free Religion, Unitarian minister, and prolific author, is famous as the man who led the first black regiment in the Civil War. He is also infamous as the man who chastised Emily Dickinson for her "unruly rhymes" (although his distaste was probably literary rather than misogynistic: he was a determined advocate of woman suffrage and of higher education for both sexes.) Higginson's was a wide-ranging and vigorous intellect, with political, military, literary, and philanthropic exertions to his credit. But he is best remembered for his passionate support of abolitionism, temperance, and women's rights, causes for which he more than once put himself in direct physical danger (including an attempt to rescue a slave-leading to a subsequent murder charge, dismissed latterly on technical grounds). While abolition was his cause celebre, women's liberation, to Higginson, was "the next great question" facing America. Higginson was also a member and sometime president of the Free Religious Association (founded 1867) which included such luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alcott, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass, and Wendell Phillips.
Margaret Fuller Loring (b. May 1844), to whom the book is inscribed, was Margaret Fuller's niece: daughter of Fuller's younger sister Ellen and of author William Ellery Channing (b.1818). She is therefore distantly related to Higginson himself, who married his second cousin Mary Elizabeth Channing. In September 1870 she married into the prominent Loring family, various scions of which were also active in the abolitionist and suffragist circles. These various relationships make this an exciting association copy of this important biography.
Appleton's Encyclopaedia of American Biography
Dictionary of American Biography
Loring Family Genealogy.
(#5127)

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