Megan Marshall, “The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism” (Houghton Mifflin, 2005)

Marshall Poe, University of Iowa
Megan Marshall


[This interview is re-posted with permission from Jenny Attiyeh's ThoughtCast.] Author Megan Marshall has recently written a well-received biography of Elizabeth, Mary, and Sophia Peabody: The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism (Houghton Mifflin, 2005). The Peabodys were key players in the founding of the Transcendentalist movement in the early to mid 19th century. Elizabeth, the oldest, was intellectually precocious, learning Hebrew as a child so she could read the Old Testament. Mary was the middle sister, somewhat subdued by the dominant – and bossy – qualities of Elizabeth, and by the attention paid to the youngest, Sophia, who was practically an invalid. Nonetheless, Mary managed to become a teacher, writer and reformer. Sophia, beset by devastating migraines, spent most of her early years in bed. But when she had the strength, she painted. In an interview with ThoughtCast, Megan Marshall continues the tale…