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Listen to the sound of education in early New England. Listen to the sound of religion in early New England. The New England run of song. The National Association of Broadcasters run a song. This is Donald bone professor of humanities at Boston University. Our program today deals with Margaret full of. Her contributions to the New
England of the 1840s and 50s including the dial Margaret Fuller the woman whose life was started with a brilliant but tragic. Margaret Fuller sprightly conversation list writer editor and sinker Margaret for a woman of controversy even today. And this is Rod Wright Meyer. I'd like to take you back to the mid 19th century again back to the transcendentalists back to Brook Farm back to the conversations in the home of Nyssa Lizabeth Peabody. Actually we'll go a little farther back than even these significant events. We'll pick up the story in May 18 10. Two young gentlemen are seated in a stagecoach which runs from Boston to Cambridge port. One of them a barrister named Timothy Fuller addresses his friend the Reverend Al Holmes. I've been reading here in the Colombian accent an old war between France and America is
expected I tell you it's the House of Napoleon will go too far one day. Perhaps no Democrat here perhaps. So you know of course the new is my new is that he has no news of a family nature time and why I guess you might say of a family nature I suspect and a lot of willing when I am right at home they should be good news waiting for me. A bright young lad new to this world a lad you've decided is to be your boy wanted to be a boy I sure really the finest intellectually trained young man in the wingman me in the country. I've great plans risk future. Let's see the actual start with Germany. All the youngster didn't even born yet. It will be a boy a boy. I shall not have it otherwise. What is your philosophy about bringing up children. Timothy I shall let Oliver Wendell one of those in the library of my general rule out that as my philosophy all nonsense my child should start early on his culture. He should know his geography his history his languages. He should be close to
Euclid. His nursery books should be east art only Aesop. And then British essayists and then perhaps my boys. Universal History. Why shouldn't the boy learn the history of the universe and the only color my good friend the world may be your oyster but it's a large one. It might catch on a boy's groan all poppycock. Oh excuse me but I'm a man of business you know. I'm a man of business even in literature and in the upbringing of children. I've been thinking about it for months. My boy must be guided through his Latin his English Brown excuse me I'm sorry to interrupt but here is the davenport tavern. Your stock it's a long walk home as they say. Yes so it is so it is. Well thank you for your conversation Nevil. I shall verify the good news when next we meet. A boy he believes the boy and the as his future all planned out even before he was born. Now wouldn't you be surprised if it weren't a boy. If
it were a girl. The boy did turn out to be a girl and all o surprised to mostly follow him at the best of it. Educated in the same manner as a boy. Sarah Margaret responded to his attention. He was a strict discipline and when it came to his studies and under his guiding hand he became intense about the classics. Sensitive to sorts of higher things rather than I had to play. Sara Margaret walked like a queen and the lady chin up body erect eyes straight ahead. Timothy noticed that paid little attention to her strange habit of closing her eyelids whenever she entered a room. She assumed it was because of eye strain. She was always studying reading contemplating life. She read the Bible with her father took long
walks with them to create the bridge. They often discussed the history of the universe. He gave her the very best he could afford in instruction including piano lessons. Of course to most people I didn't know it. But Margaret didn't like the piano lessons very much. The thoughts were tuned to. Rich who's life she had studied in the chronology of the English King march to us back to Greek Testament. Other books in good literature. She wanted to write this young lady. And her idea of recreation was translating the Lord's Prayer into Latin for her father's perusal. As the years passed Sarah Margaret increased in her intensity for the classics. She liked to explore
planks such subjects as the meaning of art and life. She insisted that the Sarah drop from her name since I was no Latin equivalent of Sarah her father continued to tutor her and she attended Miss Prescot school at Groton a fashionable and thorough institution among Margaret subjects were rhetoric perspicuity logic history natural moral and intellectual philosophy French plane and on a mental needlework music on the pianoforte. We distinguished ourselves by always being outspoken even about her opinions and observations. She became interested in get a German Italian and the languages with little assistance but it became increasingly clear that Margaret Fuller already suffering from bad headaches and dizziness because of the intensity of us thoughts and study.
Was developing her mind. Haha he was a rabbi in an appearance he was short and had a big face and undecided eyes squinted suddenly displeased at the sight of a nasal voice. My father was a severe teacher both from habits of mind and his ambition for me. He had no belief in minds that listen wait and receive. He had no conception of the subtle and in direct motions of imagination and feeling but nonetheless accurate habits of my
personality. I have now a pursuit of immediate importance to the German language and literature I will give my undivided attention. I have made rapid progress for one quite done assist. Before all of our intellectual ability. She was lonely. You know many of the young Harvard students some of whom would become famous going to ministers. Had a sort of brotherly respect for flour and a steak brown hair which she will already have a prince's incessant intellectual stream of conversation one sided conversation that came from her were not conducive to romance. Margaret exotic and exuberant. Margaret utterly sincere and candid irritated that they found her intolerable. He
began to find out the hard way that loneliness was to be her destiny and she lived in a world of her own built around symbols and mysticism. My desk in the back and of the poetic priestess dwelling in the cave. I hate not to be beautiful when all around us. Most motion is like a grand action. And pose like a grand actor if you did or thought jot it into a diary when she was young became more and more an actuality. I feel within myself been immense for us. But I cannot bring it out. I shall not have free will look out of doors for a moment's pleasure. All youthful hopes of every kind I have pushed from my thoughts. Please
God now to keep my mind composed. That I may store it with all that may be here after conducive to the best good of others. Who keep me steady in an honorable ambition that I may learn everything not lavish away my strength. This was Margaret Fuller the person she lived at top speed trying to devour the universe. She had many plans. She worshiped Gurkha and undertook to write a life of him. But her father died when she was 26. The family was poor and she had to help support her mother and the other children. They were household chores sewing lessons. But for Margaret there was progress too. She managed to get invited for two weeks to the home of Ralph Waldo Emerson in Concord. Emerson withdrawn within himself quiet expressionless. Margaret full of fire and anxious for conversation with the great man anxious to make a good impression.
They did not get along too well at first lady and I are extremely happy to have you as I guess Mr Foley. Thank you I have looked forward to pleasure. Perhaps you would like to look around the house. We want you to feel at home and I would like to see the study. I tell you what Thank you. Margaret followed the slender figure in the gray suit and carefully watched the lofty head the sloping shoulders the thick brown hair conversation was strained. This is my study Emerson paused until Margaret had had time to glance at the bookshelves lining to Wells. She looked at the round pedestal table also filled with books in the center of the room glanced at the fireplace and the copy of Michelangelo's Parky on a shelf. Barry interesting. Thank you. Margaret was in the inner sanctum at last. Won't you sit down Miss Fuller.
Thank you. I see from your volumes of gagging Mr. Imus in that you are interested in the master. It was Thomas Carlyle who first brought gutted to my attention but my own German is very poor indeed. I should enjoy I give new lessons in June. Well. Henry head she has spoken to me about your translation of Tasso. I understand it's an excellent piece of work. Henry is an excellent German scholar but I fear only a good idea past the conversation has been covering a considerable number of hours for gossip board him at first but he had to admit she was magnanimous and ground gifted with a sense of humor. A true Minerva they became very good friends. It became increasingly clear to Emerson why she enjoyed the confidence of so many people why she influenced the great minds around her.
She wore this circle of friends when I first knew her as a necklace of diamonds around her neck. There was so much to each other that Margaret seemed to represent them all. And to know her was to acquire a place with them. She was an active inspiring companion and correspondent and all the art the thought and the nobleness to New England seemed at that moment related to her and she to it. Talks with Margaret follow were amazing and joyful events which made men rush to their journals at night to record them. Her friends began to see great beauty in her the beauty of intelligence and intellect. She had a magical animation that made her ugliness gorgeous and oh she was our grand rude and tactless. People saw any more attractive qualities of the sincerity and nobleness so that when she made friends they were friends forever. These qualities caused Amos Bronson or cup to nope but she has a deeper
insight into character than any of her contemporaries and will enrich our literature full of rich rich. Rich literature. Rich Rich. And Rich our literature or something Margaret desperately wanted to do her. She was aware that the Gemini philosophy of the German idealistic sort was strong in the sense and gentle as a movement. Her friends hedge and Clark were prominent in pushing the German influence. Margaret wanted a kinship with the printing press. You had for a long time thought of publishing a new kind of magazine a magazine that would be the dial of the changing concert reform in the culture of the New England scene. The recording of the new ideas and philosophies. But before the DA came more friends the Reverend William Henry Channing arrestees Brunson James Freeman Clarke George Ripley said or
Parker George Putnam other transcendental lists. She sat in the meetings of the Transcendentalist club known also as the symposium club and the Head Club she helped them as Bronson Orcutt with his temple school watch helpless as a closed. And Imus and nature it was published. Margaret was happy to receive an autographed copy Amazon gave his American scholar address at Harvard. There were long discussions on God existing in the human soul and in nature there were happy days at Jamaica Plain a romantic interlude with a man named Samuel Ward who frightened by Margaret's amorous intentions hastily departed breaking her heart by someone else. She worked with ever and ever great intensity on the idea of a literary magazine the dial. Surely all this or all this thought that had accumulated with the transcendentalists needed an organ for
self-expression. Margaret began acquiring manuscripts for the dial. She discussed her plans for it with her friends. Emerson Parker George Ripley and the others. But before she worked too hard on the dial she wanted to start her conversations conversation after all was the principle medium of idea exchange with the Transcendentalists. It's an art We've rather lost today I fear. At any rate these conversations were to be held in this Peabody's home on West Street. A number of thinking women of the time were to be invited among the subjects Margaret planned to discuss where the life of men literature the fine arts the history of a nation. She would need others to express their thoughts upon these topics and add her own ideas to the discussions. My good father's brain bristled with anticipation of these great talks.
Meanwhile Elizabeth Peabody and her sister so Faya who had been suffering from severe headaches arranged chairs for the conversations in their rooms being more foreign was not entirely and just calling for the. Persecuted little dive whose abiding place had become a babel of talk. Why I don't suppose I wish it he dies that Margaret might hold time. I do wish so very much for that goal. Quite so. How many chairs like on the side of the room. I'm sorry what did you say. I'm afraid I was thinking my own for how many chairs who I put on the side of the room six or eight will be enough. How do you feel. Oh much better thank you. Must be the diet of bread and milk and chicken. It isn't a gentleman named Hoff. It makes you feel better he writes not what you said. Now let's see. We must be diplomatic.
The ladies from West Roxbury will be sure to sit apart from the Boston appellation. And the ladies from Concord who want their own section of the room. You know Elizabeth. I don't have this power that. She takes these groups which ordinarily will hardly look at each other and bind them into one well make them. I don't understand the personal magnetism of the woman I think she has a great gift of bringing others out of themselves as easily simply raising a high complicated idea and $20 as a fee for these conversations. So so many things one can do with twenty dollars in Boston these days the Austin gallery the lectures of Everett or Webster. Yeah and as I know dear but we must get these chairs arranged. Dear I do wish our sister Mary would take care of her books. Now I have her flower people and some other books right in the middle of the table. And Elizabeth we must hurry if we do. As forecast by so fire at Peabody the West Roxbury group came together and
sat together. The same with the Concord group and the Boston group. Each group id other a bit suspiciously conducted its own conversation. The room was now full. The chrysanthemums which Margaret Fuller loved rin their place in the middle of the room. The stage was now set St. Paul's peeled eleven o'clock and Margaret Fuller entered. She strolled toward the front of the room smiling vaguely at the Concord group and the West Roxbury group for her poor eyesight made her own sure which was which she was queen of her kingdom and so conducted herself. She wore a new black muslin gown. Her hair was tightly bound and smooth. She placed her spectacles to her eyes raised her hand her Carbuncle ring glittered near her hair for a moment. Then she began in the business of life women find themselves inferior to men. All our studies have not given us the practical good sense and mother wisdom which grew up without
grandmothers at the spinning wheel. Men are called upon from a very safe period to reproduce what they learned. But of women men without any thought of using their knowledge it is to supply this defect that my conversations have been planned. I am not here to teach but to provoke your thoughts. The Grecian that Prodigy is quite separate from the ladies was spellbound and later developed the conversation was built around the subject. What is life. Surely Margaret follows conversations in 1840 who are successful but there was still a dial to be edited and published. That dial would be a new kind of journal. It would give utterance to the boundless aspirations of the time it would furnish a medium for the freest expression of sort. It would discuss principles rather than promote measures. The contributors would be united by sympathy of spirit rather than by agreement in principle. There were men of great substance to
contribute. William Henry Channing now preaching in Cincinnati. Henry head now preaching in Bangor and I missed him all sorrow. James Russell Lowell Ellery Channing and lesser known names. Right. Cranch. Dana. Young George Curtis. In an attempt to give all shades of opinion Margaret selected many articles which contradicted one another. There was a lack of unity of a central scene. Among the early contributions was sorrows friendship and Amazon was the problem and man the Reforma Miss Fuller wrote get or a pocket contributed to German literature. Elizabeth Peabody wrote Christ's idea of society. There were also works by George Ripley Sepi Cranch and W.H. Channing but hardly was the first issue of the dial distributed before criticisms began to roll in the neck up aka poked fun at Emerson. The Philadelphia Gazette crowed
market as zany and Bedlamite Bronson or cook took a bad weird beating on his Baltic sayings. The poster mocked at the epic sayings resemble a train of fifteen railroad guys with but one passenger from the couriers of man a rising young journalists who were Spock when they wrote parodies of all cat's articles. These parties all could have been a thorough man cut out and pasted in his journals under the title parodies on Orpik sayings. There were some good reviews also but the struggling dial was having difficulties. George Ripley was concerned how many subscribers to the dial are there about 300 which will probably never run beyond that $700. But your three hundred subscribers will yield only seven hundred fifty dollars. You have been promised $200 to edit the dial yet you find yourself with only two free copies and no compensation I am fully aware that Mr Abney hai
cannot of course continue long as editor without remuneration. Yet a way will be found to publish. But the financial picture if the diode as the shadows of the present on its face Mr. Bradley. Perhaps it will find its place in the sun one day I die and mocking the flight of shadows. The dials struggled on publishing what to us so often rather obscure and difficult essays and poetry. There were chapters of as Mickle scriptures containing text from the Vishnu Sama the laws of man of Confucius there were deep and limited discussions on every aspect of life from thought. Now Muslims succeeded Margaret as editor in July 1842 and gave the dial a more unified attitude. Thus the dial became the first distinctive New England literary contribution. But the dial brave though it was finally had to give up Margaret was probably relieved. She had discovered that her writing was dull. Her
conversations. Effective. Still plagued by her constant headaches the secret loneliness the study of the finer things. Margaret Paula turned again to her conversations with her friends was a frequent visitor a prom. She became a legendary example of arrogance. She and her followers were tag sumptuous presents and blue stockings. Margaret never listened much to criticism. I returned to my native bias and feel as if there were plenty of room in the universe for my thoughts and if I could not spend time in thinking of them when so many things interest me more. All of this may be very unlovely. But it is I. Margaret Fuller personified the movement of the New England renaissance with all sorts of her activities. She was in the midst of a struggle for social betterment social and literary reform. She was surrounded by groups which in their
own way tried to build their own word. The Abolitionists the temperance advocates the followers of Sylvester Graham and his Graham bread he who promised Marland physical improvement from a diet of whole wheat and vegetables around the two were Mormons. For now I just mesmerist Communists now and just some socialist for every system. People were drunk on reform on Association on uplift on self-improvement. Margaret Fuller's life reflected all these women's rights. I cannot bring it out by fear within myself and in men for life I think she has a deeper insight into character than any of her contemporaries and will enrich our literature.
Rich Rich. Rich Rich. Rich Rich. Rich rich rich. Certainly how confident is the dial which was published for two years for conversations. A battle for the independence of women up a woman in the 19th century. Our experience as a book of literary criticisms for hire as Greeley's New York to be known certainly all these were contributions to high times and to ours. Margaret for I was a woman and as a woman she suffered the anguish of romantic prostration as a woman she suffered the mental and physical strain of over intensity of purpose. But she was something else too. An enigma. The center of controversy and criticism. A slave to the beliefs and opinions as was a happy tragic. Conceited. Sensitive role in a great period of American history. Period we now refer to
as the New England renaissance. This has been the New England Renaissance written and produced at Boston University for the National Association of educational broadcasters in cooperation with the fund for adult education. The New England Renaissance was produced and directed by George W. Sloan Jr. assisted by William bag and Melvin Gray. Our script was written by Sidney a diamond Dr. Richard C. Carpenter was research and content consultant Professor Donald Bourne and Rod Wright my or were now writers our cast included John Codman Jr. Polly Cudworth Laurie Hansen Milt Hansen Sandra Lee
even follow Stan lep Audrey Chanel. Martin said men and ladies all of the music for this program was taken from Charles Ives composition three places in New England. Parts of the program today were based on the following books. The life of Margaret Fuller by Madeline B Stern publisher E.P. duck and Company Incorporated New York Margaret Fuller and go to by Frederick Augustus Brown publisher Henry Holt and Company New York and an article entitled it is I am Margaret Fuller by Edward Nicholas Harper's Magazine July 1940 night. Be sure to listen again next week to the New England Renaissance and program number six. Trust myself.
It's the story of Ralph Waldo Emerson the man the thinker. The writer. In subsequent weeks on this series you will hear the story the whole story of the New England renaissance. This is the beat tape network.
New England renaissance
Within myself an immense force
Producing Organization
WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
The activities and personality of Margaret Fuller; background information in regard to the Dial and Conversations of the Transcendentalists.
Series Description
A dramatic re-creation of the New England Renaissance produced at Boston University.
Broadcast Date
New England--History--1775-1865
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Director: Sloan, George, W., Jr.
Producer: Boston University
Producing Organization: WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Speaker: Bourne, Donald
Speaker: Rightmire, Rod
Subject: Fuller, Margaret, 1810-1850
Writer: Diamond, Sidney, A.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-2-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:59
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Chicago: “New England renaissance; Within myself an immense force,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
MLA: “New England renaissance; Within myself an immense force.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <>.
APA: New England renaissance; Within myself an immense force. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from