By Theodora Kroeber
Frontis. + xi + 292 pp. with a variety of illus., eightvo.
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Additional resources for Alfred Kroeber: A Personal Configuration
He said, 'She was a great humbug; of course with much talent, or else she could never have been so great a humbug ... 'This explains everything; the admiration of certain really great but humble-minded men; the awe of the hangers-on of transcendentalism; the repulsion of the hard-headed and keen-witted, and the instinctive dislike of thousands who, with less intellect, had infinitely more delicacy and refinement. It is not a pleasant solution of the riddle, but it is better to know precisely what sort of an Isis is behind the veil.
65 There is an droll contrast between the manly philosophical conversation which Hawthorne and Fuller enjoy and Emerson's sickly speculations on whispers and Muses. But if Hawthorne found Fuller fascinating for the stimulus of her company, in the end he returned home to his 'little wife'. A similar plot underlies A Blithedale Romance (1852), the novel widely taken at the time to portray Fuller- in a harsh glaring light. Whether or not Hawthorne intended its central character, Zenobia, really to be Fuller, the novel ends with Zenobia's drowning, and most readers took that to be more than coincidence.
Like his ambivalence about Basil Ransom, James's feeling for Fuller is not straightforward. As an expatriate New England intellectual, James was curious about and sympathetic to Fuller, one of the first of that ilk. In James's life of William Wetmore Story, Fuller figures as one of the most prominent members of the American community in Rome, and a dose friend of Mrs Story. But she is both more and less than a character in the Story story: she is not a person, but 'the unquestionably haunting Margaret-ghost'.