If Margaret Fuller was not so terrific as some people thought she thought she was--""the Margaret myth""--Paula Blanchard suggests (from a feminist perspective) the reasons for it. Badgered by her beloved father who required her to study until her learning became excessive for a girl whose only proper study was wifehood, Fuller was alternately pushed and restrained. Small wonder that many regarded the curiously priggish, pedantic girl with ""respect and dislike."" That was one facet. There were, says Blanchard, many more: her extraordinary intellectual accomplishments, her growing political consciousness nurtured on the New York Trib and matured during the siege of Rome, the acute literary intelligence that made her second only to Poe as critic, the passionate loyalty underlying her uncanny gift for friendship. There is much here not seen before: Margaret the teenager as family ""adult,"" counseling, managing, sitting up with sick children; Margaret the lover, wooing a few men who simply weren't up to it; Margaret the artist, giving over her dear son ""Angelino"" in order to finish her book. As a feminist, Blanchard is particularly good discussing Woman in the Nineteenth Century, analyzing conflicts of author and text. In this thorough and eminently readable account, the pros and cons give way to real understanding of this brilliant, complex, brave, and wounded woman.