One of the most influential American women writers of the 19th century, Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) played a vital role in the shaping of New England Transcendentalism and the birth of the women's movement. Her Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845) was the first thorough discussion of feminism by an American. As a feminist manifesto, her treatise examined the economic, political, and cultural roles of women in society. As the editor of The Dial, the quarterly literary and philosophical publication of the Transcendentalists, she was in close contact with Emerson, Thoreau, and other leading thinkers of the era. As a staff member of the New York Tribune, she developed a widespread reputation as a critic. Her influence was so great that her ideas and persona were reflected in the literary works of Hawthorne, Lowell, and other writers of the period.
For many decades, Margaret Fuller was largely neglected by the scholarly community. While she was always considered a pioneering feminist, she was also seen as only a peripheral figure of the American Renaissance. In recent years, however, scholarship on Fuller has exploded, and her great contributions to 19th century American literature and culture are receiving much attention. This bibliography cites and annotates several hundred scholarly studies about Fuller published between 1983 and 1995. It also provides entries for roughly 100 works about Fuller not included in the author's previous bibliographies. Entries are grouped in chapters devoted to each year, so that the reader may trace the growth in Fuller scholarship. A comprehensive index allows the user to locate sources according to author, subject, and periodical title.