A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Fuller, Sarah Margaret

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Fuller, Sarah Margaret (1810-1850). Was b. in Massachusetts, dau. of a lawyer, who encouraged her in overworking herself in the acquisition of knowledge with life-long evil results to her health. On his death she supported a large family of brothers and sisters by teaching. Her early studies had made her familiar with the literature not only of England but of France, Spain, and Italy; she had become imbued with German philosophy and mysticism, and she co-operated with Theodore Parker in his revolt against the Puritan theology till then prevalent in New England, and became the conductor of the Transcendentalist organ, The Dial, from 1840-2. She made various translations from the German, and pub. Summer on the Lakes (1844), and Papers on Literature and Art (1846). In the same year she went to Europe, and at Rome met the Marquis Ossoli, an Italian patriot, whom she m. in 1847. She and her husband were in the thick of the Revolution of 1848-9, and in the latter year she was in charge of a hospital at Rome. After the suppression of the Revolution she escaped with her husband from Italy, and took ship for America. The voyage proved most disastrous: small-pox broke out on the vessel, and their infant child d., the ship was wrecked on Fire Island, near New York, and she and her husband were lost. Destitute of personal attractions, she was possessed of a singular power of conciliating sympathy. She was the intimate friend of Emerson, Hawthorn, Channing, and other eminent men.