Unit 6 High flyers, 6C Listening, Margaret Fuller, page 64
2 For instance
3 For that reason
5 As a result
6 in fact
Host Last week, we heard about Nellie Bly, one of the first female journalists to become really famous. This week, we’re going to talk about Margaret Fuller. She was born before Nellie Bly, wasn’t she?
Guest Yes, that’s right. Margaret Fuller was born near the start of the nineteenth century – in 1810.
Host In America?
Guest Yes, in America. In Cambridge, which is a city on the East coast of the USA, near Boston. It’s the home of Harvard University, one of the most famous universities in the world.
Host And did Margaret have a good education?
Guest Yes, she did. Up to the age of nine, her education was at home, with her father. Margaret was an excellent student. In fact, by the age of six, she was translating Latin poetry into English.
Host Was that unusual at the time?
Guest Yes, it was – for a girl. Boys often learned Latin, but girls learned different things: for instance, how to behave in public. Boys were given great works of literature to read; girls were given romantic novels.
Host So did she receive all of her education at home?
Guest No, she didn’t. By the age of ten, she was at school. And eventually, she qualified as a teacher. But even as an adult, her education continued. She taught herself several languages and read great literature from the around world. Indeed, many people considered her the best-educated person on the East Coast. And that’s male or female!
Host So, she had a hunger for education. What else was different about her? Why did she become so well known?
Guest Well, she had very strong opinions about the role of women, and particularly about what jobs they could do. At that time, there were certain jobs which people thought of as suitable for women: for example, being a teacher. Margaret believed that a woman could do any job that a man could do.
Host And what job did she do?
Guest Well, after teaching, she became a journalist. She worked for the New York Tribune and became its first female editor. She also wrote reviews for it, as she was well known for having strong opinions about literature. Some of the reviews she wrote were very negative. As a result, she was not always popular with novelists and poets of her time.
Host Did she only write about literature?
Guest No, she was interested in many different topics. For example, she went into prisons and wrote about the conditions there. She wanted to make them better. She also wanted to change people’s attitudes to Native Americans and African Americans.
Host So, she fought a lot of good causes.
Guest Yes, she did. She definitely tried to make the world a better place. Mind you, during her lifetime, she was actually best known for being bad-tempered!
Host Oh dear! Well, I suppose sometimes strong opinions can make you unpopular.