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Marshall on Margaret Fuller, Biography as ‘Gift’

Charles Wesley Emerson Professor Megan Marshall spoke to the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) and the Christian Science Monitor about the life and legacy of 19th century writer and intellectual Margaret Fuller and the value of biography.

Marshall, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 for her biography, Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, was a guest on MHS’ The Object of History, a podcast that goes in-depth on specific items or documents in the Society’s collection. Marshall talked to MHS Chief Historian Peter Drummey and host/producer Katy Morris about a trove of letters Fuller wrote to her close friend James Freeman Clarke when they were in their 20s.

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Earlier this month, Marshall talked to the Christian Science Monitor about biography more generally. Biographies give contemporary readers perspective and insight into their own lives by showing how historical figures navigated their own, Marshall said.

“We can take those messages of those who didn’t give up,” Marshall told the Monitor.” Alternatively, you can learn from people who didn’t make it. Everyone is worthy of remembrance and … every life is a gift. And what you do with that gift is up to you.”

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