‘Educating New England’ reconsiders Transcendentalism as a practical experiment in education. Located at the intersection of intellectual history and literary studies, this study shows that the Transcendentalist educational ventures represent a radical alternative to the early nineteenth-century educational practices in New England.
Contributing to the ongoing reassessment of Transcendentalism as an educational movement, this is the first comprehensive study of the Transcendentalists’ educational practices. It relates the educational ventures of Margaret Fuller, but also of more marginalized Transcendentalists such as Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, George Ripley, and Amos Bronson Alcott to the educational landscape of early nineteenth-century New England. Drawing on the richness of archival material that has never been systematically studied, this study shows that the Transcendentalists took an active part in forming and shaping the future of American education.