Margaret Fuller Ossoli
Margaret Fuller Ossoli was born in the year 1810. Her father, Timothy Fuller, gave much personal attention to her education. She proved to be a remarkable scholar and when she was six years old she could read Latin and at eight she read Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Moliere extensively. Being left alone quite often, she became rather melancholy and reserved and was also given to angry outbursts.
She studied at Groton, Massachusetts, where her idiosyncrasy were a trial to her teachers and friends. When she returned to her home she began an extensive course of studies, mastering the German language and making a practice of reading the chief German authors.
In 1840 she became editor of the “Dial”, a quarterly journal. Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of her associates in the work. “Woman in the Nineteenth Century”, written by Miss Fuller for this journal, was afterward issued as a book.
In 1844 she began to work for the New York “Tribune”. Her work was pretty much limited to reviews which she subsequently issued as a book entitled “Papers on Art and Literature”.
Margaret soon made her home in Rome and in 1847 she became the wife of a Roman nobleman, the Marquis Giovanni Angelo Ossoli. During two years after her marriage she, Rome was stirred by political unrest. In 1848 there was a revolution and in 1849 the city was besieged by France. During these trying times she volunteered as a director of one of the hospitals in the city of Rome.
In 1850, she returned to America, accompanied by her husband and little son. The voyage, however, had a tragic ending. The ship was driven ashore on Fire Island Beach. While the vessel was going to pieces, Margaret sang little Angelo to sleep and her husband calmed the passengers by prayer. After twelve hours of suspense, some of the passengers were saved, but Ossoli, wife, and child perished.
Margaret Ossoli had a strong character marked by individuality. Her struggle and solitary habits made her less winsome than some other writers, but her works form a substantial contribution to American literature.