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Ellen Sturgis Hooper, 1812-1848

Perry Miller

From The American Transcendentalists (Doubleday, 1957)

The elder of the Sturgis sisters, Ellen married a distinguished physician; her death at the age of thirty-six enshrined her in the memories of her associates as a Transcendental angel. Margaret Fuller wrote from Rome in 1849, after having encountered many great personages, "I have seen in Europe no woman more gifted by nature than she." Ellen's verses in The Dial, and those long treasured in manuscript by her admirers, constitute another of New England's objections to the materialistic temper of the age and of the nation. In her gentle, feminine way, Ellen Hooper takes her stand beside Henry Thoreau. And in paying her woman's tribute to the preeminence of Emerson, she frankly allows herself to recognize those limitations which his "dry lighted" temperament imposed upon his leadership. [page 272]

Selected Poems by Ellen Sturgis Hooper