Their moral philosophy textbooks provide insights into an important intellectual justification for the censorship of obscene literature as well as their opposition to the free love movement.
In fact, one of Whitman's earliest reviewers proclaimed Leaves of Grass to be a manifestation of the "lecherous lips" of the burgeoning free love movement.
In the eyes of Homer Sprague, president of the New England Society, the "self-styled reformers" of the free love movement wanted to "reconstruct society on a new foundation" by "bringing back the golden age of monkeydom and--liberty
Throughout the 1840s and 50s, the marriage question had come to the forefront of American thought: as John Spurlock notes, the free love movement began with a flurry of manifestos and books critiquing, reforming, or defending marriage in the 1840s and 50s (21).
After The Blithedale Romance was published, the free love movement would grow more vocal.
The Blithedale Romance responded to a transatlantic web of obsessions, fears, and fantasies surrounding the free love movement.