'More than 150 years before Oprah and Reese Witherspoon, women began reading together in groups."
Retopolis feature by Jess McHugh at The Washington Post.
"[Journalist Margaret] Fuller’s 'conversations,' much like many literary circles, were a way for women to pursue truth, knowledge and an understanding of themselves and the world around them. Megan Marshall, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, compared those meetings to consciousness raising groups of the 1960s and 1970s. 'There was a sense of female power that was emanating from these sessions,' Marshall said.
"Women may have been excluded from philosophical clubs and universities, but they found other ways of engaging with literature. Women’s chief role in founding the modern book club — a consequence of being marginalized from other intellectual spaces — has gone on to shape the book landscape in profound and unappreciated ways."