"IT IS NOT WOMAN, BUT THE LAW OF RIGHT, THE LAW OF GROWTH, THAT SPEAKS IN US": FIRST EXPANDED EDITION OF FULLER'S WOMAN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, 1855
FULLER OSSOLI, Margaret. Woman in the Nineteenth Century, and Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition and Duties, of Woman. Boston: John P. Jewett, 1855. Octavo, original blind-stamped brown cloth. $1700.
First expanded edition, the first posthumous edition, of this "foundational work of feminist theory" (New Yorker), edited by Horace Greeley, featuring numerous essays and papers by Margaret Fuller in book form for the first time.
"When Margaret Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Century first appeared in the winter of 1845, few readers were prepared to accept her uncompromising proposition that 'inward and outward freedom for woman as for man shall be acknowledged as a right, not yielded as a concession.' Elaborating arguments she had first encountered in Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Fuller insisted that… woman would have to 'lay aside all thought, such as she habitually cherished, of being taught and led by men'" (Kolodny, "Inventing a Feminist Discourse"). The book proved to be a sensation, albeit a controversial one, attracting the positive notice of the literati including George Eliot, Edgar Allen Poe, and Lydia Maria Child. Fuller soon came to be regarded as a leading philosopher, developing friendships with both Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Fuller's focus on female emancipation drew heavily from the abolitionist arguments of her day and helped to craft enduring talking points that would be used later by the suffragettes and women's rights activists. Based on an 1843 article entitled "The Great Lawsuit," the work was subsequently published (heavily revised) as the first edition in 1845. This posthumously published edition—Fuller died in a shipwreck in 1850—incorporates an assortment of extra material including essays by Fuller and extracts from her journals and letters. Early ink owner signature.
Light scattered foxing mainly to preliminaries, wear and toning to cloth. An extremely good copy.