Highland Books

Books & Photographs by Chris Highland


Margaret follows Muir, Thoreau, Emerson and Whitman. . .but it is equally true that Margaret follows no man.

This is a brief excerpt from chapter 9 in my book Life After Faith

I am currently reading Frances Wright, a contemporary of Fuller, who took Margaret’s creative and radical mind to another, if not higher, level!


Margaret Fuller understood the paradoxical balance, and its threat to the powers behind their thick doors.  She recognized that her feet needed to be rooted on solid ground until her “wings be grown.”  She knew the usefulness of both the microscope and the telescope to pen up the full field of view, to learn the “secrets” even of the stones.  Fuller’s visceral vision of her “kindred” relation to all life played out in her intense interest and active participation in the Transcendentalist agenda alongside Emerson and Thoreau.  Her devotion to relationships in evident in her radical writing, her competent editing, the Boston “Conversations” she founded, and in her Italian immersion.  Even in her death, with its tragic poetry (her last manuscript sinking with her as she “crossed the bar”), our imagination can pick up a fragment of her poem washed ashore:

“In that temple so divine

She sought at once the inmost shrine

And saw this thought there graven,–

“Earth and fire, hell and heaven,

Hate and love, black and white,

Life and death, dark and bright,

All are One

One alone

All else is seeming

I who think am nought

But the One a-dreaming

To and fro its thought:

All is well,

For all is one;

The fluid spell

is the cold stone;

However voluble

All life is soluble

Into my thought;

And that is nought,

But self-discovering

self recovering

Of the One

One Alone.”2


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