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Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.

On May 25th at 6:00 p.m., join us for a dinner and “Conversation” marking the close of the18 month- long bicentennial celebration of Margaret Fuller’s life and legacy.  The event will be held at Max and Dylan’s Restaurant at 13 West Street in Boston, the former Peabody Book Room, where Fuller offered several of her famed “Conversations” for women (and later men) in the early 1840’s.   The evening will begin with a cocktail hour during which Lynn Hyde, rogue preservationist, will give an update on efforts to preserve the Book Room. Reverend Dorothy Emerson, Margaret Fuller Bicentennial Committee coordinator, will recap the bicentennial and share news about ongoing events and resources.  A delicious dinner will be served at 7:00 during which Margaret Fuller will stop in for a visit, portrayed by actress Jessa Piaia.  The main program will open with remarks by author Megan Marshall about Elizabeth Peabody, Fuller and the “Conversations.” She will share Book Room lore about Peabody, Fuller, and the "Conversations."  The evening will culminate with a presentation "What Margaret Fuller Did For Feminism" by our keynote speaker, professor and author, Phyllis Cole.

The Peabody Book Room, built around 1824, was the home of the Peabody family during the 1840s.  Daughter Elizabeth broke the proscribed roles for women by turning the downstairs of the house into a business: a circulating foreign language bookstore and library. This venture filled an important need in the literary and intellectual community, and as such became a kind of Transcendental Central for such patrons as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodore Parker and George & Sophia Ripley – founders of the Brook Farm community.  Margaret Fuller staged many of her “Conversations” for women here, and as a wedding venue, the house is famous for hosting sister Sophia Peabody’s marriage to Nathaniel Hawthorne and sister Mary Peabody’s marriage to educator Horace Mann.  The Book Room packs a lot of history into a few square feet.

Professor Phyllis Cole of Penn State - Brandywine, our distinguished keynote speaker, is the author of Mary Moody Emerson and the Origins of Transcendentalism, which was named Finalist (second place) for the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association. This engaging work reveals a well-spring of Emerson’s ideas and has revolutionized the study of his works.  Dr. Cole’s fields of specialization include American Transcendentalism and nineteenth-century American women writers.  She has served as President of the national Ralph Waldo Emerson Society.   
Opening remarks will be made by another distinguished presenter, Megan Marshall.  Ms. Marshall is Assistant Professor at Emerson College, where she teaches narrative nonfiction writing and the art of archival research in the MFA program.  She is the author of The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism, winner of the Francis Parkman Prize, the Mark Lynton History Prize, the Massachusetts Book Award, and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography.  She is currently at work on a biographical study of Margaret Fuller, The Passion of Margaret Fuller: A Biographical Romance, to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Tickets cost $50. The program is suitable for adults and children 14 or older.

This event is part of the Bicentennial’s Conversations Series.  It is sponsored by the Margaret Fuller Bicentennial and supported by a grant from Mass Humanities.


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