An epic imagining of the life of Margaret Fuller—America’s forgotten leading lady and the central figure of a movement that defined a nation—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post
Young, brazen, beautiful, and unapologetically brilliant, Margaret Fuller accepts an invitation from Ralph Waldo Emerson, the celebrated Sage of Concord, to meet his coterie of enlightened friends. There she becomes “the radiant genius and fiery heart” of the Transcendentalists, a role model to a young Louisa May Alcott, an inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne and the scandalous Scarlet Letter, a friend to Henry David Thoreau as he ventures out to Walden Pond . . . and a muse to Emerson. But Margaret craves more than poetry and interpersonal drama, and her restless soul needs new challenges and adventures.
And so she charts a singular course against a backdrop of dizzying historical drama: From Boston, where she hosts a salon for students like Elizabeth Cady Stanton; to the editorial meetings of The Dial magazine, where she hones her pen as its co-founder; to Harvard’s library, where she is the first woman permitted entry; to the gritty New York streets where she spars with Edgar Allan Poe and reports on Frederick Douglass. Margaret defies conventions time and again as an activist for women and an advocate for humanity, earning admirers and critics alike.
When the legendary editor Horace Greeley offers her an assignment in Europe, Margaret again makes history as the first female foreign news correspondent, mingling with luminaries like Frédéric Chopin, William Wordsworth, George Sand and more. But it is in Rome that she finds a world of passion, romance, and revolution, taking a Roman count as a lover—and sparking an international scandal. Evolving yet again into the roles of mother and countess, Margaret enters the fight for Italy’s unification.
With a star-studded cast and sweeping, epic historical events, this is a story of an inspiring trailblazer, a woman who loved big and lived even bigger—a fierce adventurer who transcended the rigid roles ascribed to women and changed history, all on her own terms.
About the Author
Allison Pataki is the New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor’s Wife, The Accidental Empress, Sisi, The Queen’s Fortune, and The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post, as well as the nonfiction memoir Beauty in the Broken Places. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages. A former news writer and producer, Pataki has written for The New York Times, USA Today, and other outlets. She has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, Good Day New York, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Allison Pataki graduated cum laude from Yale University and lives in New York with her husband and family.