So you can read my books

Saturday, October 20, 2012


So many ask if I know I resemble the actress Cate Blanchett.

It would be more accurate to say she resembles me since I was born long before she was a gleam in her grandmother's eye.

Reporters, after gushing over my last Pulitzer prize, ask if I am related to the fabled Margaret Fuller.  I ask them,

"What makes you think I am not that Margaret Fuller?"

They laugh.  I laugh.  Each for different reasons.

You may recognize my name from the adventures of Samuel McCord and that scamp, Victor Standish:

History has me drowned upon this date in 1850 aged forty. In 1853, when Captain Samuel McCord met me aboard the cursed DEMETER, I was still all too alive:

Shortly thereafter, I became a unique form of undead. But then, I have always been unique -- alive or undead.

My beliefs (feminist and Transcendentalist), accomplishments and fervent personality put me in the spotlight throughout my life,

but my "last" years, spent in Rome supporting the short-lived Roman Republic, reached an operatic level of passion and poignancy.

As foreign correspondent of Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, I argued the cause of the Italian revolutionists in the dispatches sent home. In Rome, I assisted on the Republican ramparts and in their field hospitals.

I also married an Italian nobleman who was prominent in the Republican cause, and had a son by him. With the ramparts fallen and my husband in jeopardy, I reluctantly decided to return to America,

despite premonitions of disaster and warnings from Emerson and other Concord friends that my socialist leanings and doubtful marriage would provoke public disfavor.

As if I have ever cared what the rabble thought.

When my boat ran aground just off the New York coast, I chose to stay with my husband, who could not swim. Both of us were washed to sea and never found, (so history reports).

But Henry (David Thoreau) found me washed upon the shore not far from my young son’s body.

The memorial to me put up by my family reads,

“Born a child of New England, / By adoption a citizen of Rome, / By genius belonging to the World.”

My genius has never been in question.

Edgar Allan Poe thought me such. He believed that the fallacy in my lobby for women's rights was that

"She judges woman by the heart and intellect of Miss Fuller, but there are not more than one or two dozen Miss Fullers on the whole face of the earth."

Poe’s evaluation is echoed in comments by Emerson and Hawthorne — though they let slip that their attraction might be more than intellectual (as it was)

when they both referred to me in print as “Margaret Fuller, the Sexy Muse.”

I now know all the people worth knowing in America, and I find no intellect comparable to my own except for dear Ada

(Byron, Lady Loveless - author of the first computer language a 100 years before the invention of the computer itself.)

McCord has his moments, but he is restrained by his Victorian ideals and code that he will not cast aside. I love him for his nobility. It will be the death of him.

What will be the death of you? I wager your friends know even if you do not. I leave you with a bit of my own verse :

“Let me gather from the Earth,
one full grown fragrant flower,
Let it bloom within my bosom
through its one fragile hour….”

Of my past, I neither rejoice nor grieve, for bad or good, I acted out my character.

*{Cate Blanchett as Hedda Gabler; photo courtesy Steven Siewert}


  1. Wow. Not only have I gone all day without a comment but I've even lost a follower. Time to reflect my path it seems.

  2. I can explain why I haven't commented - I wasn't familiar with Margaret Fuller, and had to check who she was. My heroine of the feminists was Simone de Beauvoir.

    It was interesting but perhaps not familiar to many others either?

    Now you've had one comment.

  3. Cate Blanchett has cheekbones to die for! Margaret Fuller - Hedda Gabbler- Cate Blanchet! What a combination! Take care

  4. "Of my past, I neither rejoice nor grieve, for bad or good, I acted out my character."

    Beautifully said. I try to live my life like that, staying as true to myself and my character as much as I can. :-)

  5. My FB page has been losing "likes" lately -- weird coincidence... Anyhow, I'm always impressed by the verisimilitude you endow your characters with, Roland.

  6. D.G.:
    Thanks for commenting even though Margaret Fuller was unfamiliar with you as Simone de Beauvoir is with me.

    History is filled with forgotten heroes whose lives were the stuff of legend and romance.

    I would truly love to see Cate Blanchett portray Hedda Gabler on the stage in person. An angry, frustrated woman with a gun -- now that is drama! :-)

    It is a good way to try to live, isn't it? Those are Margaret Fuller's exact words. She is a force to be reckoned with in my novels. Thanks for commenting, Roland

  7. Milo:
    Like the ghost of Mark Twain keeps telling me: "Once you have mastered faking verisimilitude, Roland, your success in politics is assured."

    Thanks for the compliment. I've stumbled across so many fascinating personalities in my reading that they take on a life of their own in my novels. Margaret (or Oracle as Ada Byron calls her) is one of them.

    I always wonder when I lose a follower if I have unintentionally offended a visitor. Good to know that it happens to more than just me. Have a great new week, Roland

  8. You know, I've tried to unfollow someone, but Google Reader won't let me. It just keeps throwing their gamer pictures on my screen, no matter how many times I try to delete the feed. (I ended up with them on my feed by accident.)

    I really don't know how you could offend anyone. Your posts are always very interesting and/or heartfelt.