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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Finding Margaret Fuller

1. Had you heard of Margaret Fuller before? What did you learn about her historical significance? Why do you think she is lesser known compared to her contemporaries?

2. What was your first impression of Margaret? How did it evolve throughout the course of the story? How did Margaret herself change throughout her lifetime?

3. There are many historical cameos throughout the novel. Who was your favorite historical figure to meet on the page?

4. Margaret had many roles in her life: women’s rights activist, war correspondent, writer and Transcendentalist, as well as being a daughter, wife, mother, muse and friend. Which did you find the most fascinating? Which do you think meant the most to her?

5. In the novel, Margaret declares, “I am a woman who is too unapologetic in my desire to write, to think, to work. I am a woman who is unafraid to speak with men and support my own work. I want too much.” What is Pataki trying to say about women in Margaret’s time?

6. Feminism and love: both of these themes played a strong role in Margaret’s life. Discuss their impact on her choices. Are there any other themes you found while reading?

7. Margaret often likens herself to a plant in need of new soil in order to keep growing, and this prompted her to move around a lot. Which location of Margaret’s did you enjoy visiting the most? Why? Which location do you think Margaret loved the most?

8. Margaret played a key role in the women’s rights movement and was a trailblazer for women in several ways. What are some ways her legacy has shaped modern society?

9. Margaret was unique in her day because of her ambivalence toward the institution of marriage. Discuss the different men with whom Margaret had intense relationships. How was she different in each relationship? What did you make of her eventual decision to marry Count Ossoli?

10. What do you think Margaret might have done had she lived past the age of 40?

Finding Margaret Fuller
by Allison Pataki

  • Publication Date: March 19, 2024
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0593600231
  • ISBN-13: 9780593600238