he was no nobleman, wrongly. It is somewhat droll to seenMargaret’s modern defenders insist that she was a radical feministndemocrat who slept only with a true scion of the Romannnobility.nAround Margaret hangs always the fascinating aura of thenopus imperfectum. Her best writing is found in her letters andnher articles, literary and historical, for Greeley’s Tribune. Shenwrote Woman in the Nineteenth Century before her style hadnbeen pruned by writing for Greeley, and it lacks the charmnand character of Emerson or Thoreau. The content, however,nanticipates contemporary feminism in almost every area, fromnher insistence that women can hold men’s jobs, even be shipncaptains, to her belief that women’s moral sense is distinctnfrom men’s.nWould her history have won her the place in American literaturenshe was sure of? She called it “a possession forevernfor man,” echoing a famous phrase of Thucydides. In hernbest literary essay for Greeley, she had discussed Americannhistorians, praising Prescott for the readableness of his greatnhistories of the Spanish conquest of America, but she wasnbothered by his lack of a guiding idea, a lack she found filled innBancroft’s work. The people, democracy, would have been hernguiding idea, and she had a hero in Mazzini. Would the impartialitynthat Thucydides claimed to possess have replaced thenpartisan attitude of her newspaper articles? We know fromncomparing her letters with the articles that she often knewnbetter. In the Tribune she insists on the unanimity of popularnJust complete and mail thenadjoining coupon witti yourncheck or money order, andnwe’ll promptly send eachnrecipient a gift card innyour name.nTO ORDER BY PHONEnCALL TOLL FREEn1-800-877-5459nsupport for the republic. In her last letter to Emerson shentells of visiting the wounded during the siege of Rome. Hernknowledge of languages proved useful because the soldiersncame from all over Europe. “Indeed, I am afraid that it isntoo true that there are comparatively few Romans.” When shendescribed Garibaldi leading his troops out from the Squarenof St. John Lateran, she railed at those who called them “brigandsnand vagabonds.” In an earlier letter to Giovanni shenwrote that Garibaldi had little control over questi desperati dinsua handa, “these desperadoes in his band,” who were murderingnpriests, civilians, and one another. Could she have includednsuch observations in her account of an event that hadngiven her so much hope and so much heartache?nThis is only one of the questions about Margaret Fullernthat we cannot answer. There are many others. Would shenhave raised little Angelino as her father had raised her? Can wentrust the partial pictures of her we find in female characters innHawthorne’s Blithedale Romance and Marble Faun and HenrynJames’ Bostonians? Did she ever feel at home in the world?nThis last question I think we can answer. Writing from Romenshe often quoted Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, always innthe same way: “Oh Rome! my country!” with “my” underlined,nagainst the meter. She knew what she was doing. Thenorphans of the heart know how to scan their own poetry, asnthey know their own country, no matter how late in life theyncome to it or how little time it is granted them to stay there.nChronicles Gift Subscription has long been anpopular choice as a gift for family and friends. Andnnow, our special rates make giving Chronicles anconsiderable value, too. Give a one-year subscriptionnto Chronicles for only $24—you save $6 or 20% offnthe cover price.nGIFT FOR GIFT FORnADDRESS ADDRESSnCITY CITYnSTATE ZIP STATE ZIPnMY NAMEnADDRESSnFOREIGN ORDERS ADD $6 PER SUBSCRIPTION. U.S. FUNDS ONLY. CHRONICLES SELLS FOR $2.50 A COPY.nSEND TO: CHRONICLES * RO. BOX 800 » MT MORRIS, IL 61054nnnXPD24n<£>nOCTOBER 1992/23n