The text is that of the first edition and includes comprehensive textual annotations."Backgrounds" reveals the experiential basis for the text through autobiographical writings and selections from Fuller’s recently published letters, journals, and "Boston Conversations." "Criticism and Reviews" presents a superb selection of critical writing about the novel. The critics include Orestes A. Brownson, A. G. M, Lydia Maria Child, Frederic Dan Huntington, Edgar A. Poe, Charles Lane, George Eliot, Margaret Vanderhaar Allen, David M. Robinson, Bell Gale Chevigny, Julie Ellison, Christina Zwarg, and Jeffery Steele. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.