C1: Elizabeth Peabody Book Shop

Pictured Above: Elizabeth Peabody
Location: 13-15 West Street

The Book Shop of Elizabeth Peabody (1804-94) is best known as the location of the 1839-44 Conversations led by Margaret Fuller (1810-50) which helped crystalize New England Transcendentalism, a movement encouraging the perfection of each individual. A regular participant in these Conversations was philosopher and activist Ednah Dow Littlehale Cheney (1824-1904) who, at age 16, was the youngest participant. Elizabeth Peabody, who was also a Transcendentalist, founded American kindergartens and here at the Book Shop became the first woman publisher in Boston. Her younger sisters were each married in the family parlor behind the Book Shop. Sophia Peabcy (1808-71), an artist, married author Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Mary Peabody (1806-87), an educator, married Horace Mann, considered to be the father of American public education.