Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson had a complicated relationship. In her first review in Horace Greeley's New-York Tribune, she writes that Emerson is "undoubtedly the man of ideas, but we want the ideal man also." As Adam-Max Tuchinsky notes, "Fuller's complaint about Emerson has become, in many respects, a familiar one; her fear is that, in his idealism, Emerson had 'raised himself too early to the perpendicular' and cut himself off from the 'conflicts on the lap of mother earth' is now a recognizable refrain in American cultural criticism ...."
Read more about Fuller here.
Emerson also wrote of Fuller in his journals. Here are a few excerpts:
October 12, 1841: “…whom I always admire, most revere when I nearest see, and sometimes love, -- yet whom I freeze, and who freezes me to silence, when we seem to promise to come nearest."
August 20, 1842: “Last night a walk to the river with Margaret, and saw the moon broken in the water, interrogating, interrogating.”
July 21[?], 1850: “On Friday, July 19, Margaret [Fuller Ossoli] dies on rocks of Fire Island Beach within sight of and within sixty rods of the shore. To the last her country proves inhospitable to her; brave, eloquent, subtle, accomplished, devoted, constant soul!...
She had a wonderful power of inspiring confidence and drawing out of people their last secret. The timorous said, ‘What shall we do? How shall she be received, now that she brings a husband and child home?’ But she had only to open her mouth and a triumphant success awaited her. She would fast enough have disposed of the circumstances and the bystanders….
I have lost in her my audience. I hurry now to my work admonished that I have few days left. There should be a gathering of her friends and some Beethoven should play the dirge.”
February 1851: “Some persons are thrown off their balance when in society; others are thrown on to balance; the excitement of company and the observation of other characters correct their biases. Margaret Fuller always appeared to unexpected advantage in conversation with a circle of persons, with more common sense and sanity than any other, - though her habitual vision was through coloured lenses.”
Tuchinsky, Adam-Max. "'Her Cause against Herself': Margaret Fuller, Emersonian Democracy, and the Nineteenth-Century Public Intellectual." American Nineteenth Century History. 5.1 (2004): 66-99.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. The Heart of Emerson's Journals. Ed. Bliss Perry. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1926. Print.