Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2016 Issue

Old Books / New Editions. Part III of III. New Work on Margaret Cavendish’s "The Blazing World" (1666; 2016)

81ddd788-ff35-48f4-8279-57dde4f92330

Welcome to this third and final installment in my Guest Series on new editions of 17th-century women writers. This last essay discusses an extraordinary figure whose writings are a rich weave of interests, from feminism, politics, and education, to astronomy, astrology, and cosmography. This is none other than the remarkable Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (c1623-1673), a writer of many qualities who took English literature to a whole new level. She owned a telescope. She collected optical lenses. She designed her own (lavish) couture. Her visit to the new London Royal Society in 1667 was a sensation. Confident in her abilities and certain of “a glorious Fame”, she published under her own name and her record of publication (plays, poetry, essays, letters, prose fiction, autobiography) was substantial. She described her manuscripts as “paper Bodies”, living things creating “a great Blazing Light” after her death. (An expanding cohort of advocates would say: Yea, she was right!) Her masterpiece and signature work is an astonishing futuristic text, The Blazing-World (London, 1666, 1668), considered the first-ever science fiction novel written and published by a woman writer. It is now available in a new edition for 21st-century readers, prepared by Sara H. Mendelson, a respected scholar on Cavendish and a former president of the Margaret Cavendish Society. Fasten your seatbelts, Duchess Margaret will take you right out of this world. < Click here for essay > 


Posted On: 2016-12-14 03:17
User Name: mairin111

13th December 2016
Auburn Hills, Michigan
Posting for F. Abramson, Auburn Hills, MI.
___

May I thank Rare Book Hub and M. Mulvihil for this fascinating series, especially the last piece on the unusual Duchess of Newcastle. I am not a collector, nor a scholar, but I am interested in editing an anthology on early women chemists. The editorial methodologies discussed in this series are like a gift to me, like a how-to graduate seminar. So my thanks to all of you. The essays are beautifully constructed and richly informative. Keep up the good work, everyone ~ F. Abramson, Auburn Hills, MI. 13th December 2016.
___


Posted On: 2016-12-14 17:42
User Name: mairin111

Posting for Ann M. Bogle, Writer, Minneapolis.
Via Skype. 14th December 2016.
http://annbogle.blogspot.com
http://fictionaut.com/users/ann-bogle
___

As I posted last evening on the esteemed Margaret Cavendish Society List: This essay, with its photographic (illustrative) display, is so enticing. It completely excites me to discover this imaginative 17th-century woman writer and to now have a chance to know more about her special ('galactic') book. I have now read a few pages, finding it genuinely enjoyable & informative, but not in an antiquated way, not in a way that fails to achieve the level of men writers of Cavendish's era: not at all! The Duchess's "fantastical" novel seems readable, approachable, endearing...a classic. So our thanks to Maureen Mulvihill & her host, Mr McKinney, for admirable dedication & commitment in getting up this superb guest series. Clearly, a service to scholars planning editions, and to editors at publishing houses, as well. Best of the season, everyone, AMBogle, Writer, MN.
____


Posted On: 2016-12-14 19:50
User Name: alice185

Many thanks for this beautifully done essay, with its wonderful opening anecdote. The whole series has been a great source of information on current work in the field. Alice Browne.


Posted On: 2016-12-14 22:37
User Name: mairin111

Posting for June Harrison, Photographer, Manhattan.
Via Skype. Wednesday, December 14, 2016.
___

What a readable, almost leather-bound, tour de force! Your entire series, Maureen, is so beautifully presented and detailed. And useful (useful!) to scholarly editors & publishers.
All three essays are lively and lovely. You really kept up the momentum, too -- brava! And that Duchess of Newcastle, what an 'original'. She sounds like a rock star of her day. I'm sure she was entirely 'galactic' & 'over the Moone'. Best regards to you & Rare Book Hub for holiday cheer. Keep in touch, love how you keep up the standards. Shall watch for that fabled Cavendish Star tomorrow night (Dec 15), shooting through the sky, all the way from Welbeck Abbey, Sherwood Forest. How enchanting. Thank you for this essay & the others. Thrilling!
June Harrison, Photographer / NYC.
_____


Posted On: 2016-12-15 00:50
User Name: mosher

I thoroughly enjoyed your "Galactic Duchess" essay. The attending gallery of images is wonderful and your essay is so well organized. Congratulations on presenting this material to the world via Bruce McKinney's site which introduces Sara Mendelson's 21st century edition of Cavendish's THE BLAZING-WORLD. Literary contributions by women deserve more and frequent treatment, and especially noteworthy is that Margaret Cavendish's work is a first science fiction novel both written by and published by a woman writer. The work deserves this new debut for the modern age. -- Philip R. Bishop, member ABAA, ILAB, IOBA, and the Grolier Club.


Posted On: 2016-12-16 04:27
User Name: mairin111

15th December 2016.
___

Greetings, all ~
A note of thanks to the many colleagues, associates, friends, and RBH subscribers who posted a Comment on my recent Guest Series. It's been a heady three-month whirl, and a mighty good one, with strong affirmative response from many quarters. Bruce McKinney and Mike Stillman at RBH have been remarkable hosts & caring stewards of my work. And because the last installment in the Series, my Cavendish essay, was posted 12 days late, owing to delays with images & permissions, it lost exposure; but it will be re-announced to RBH subscribers on January 1st, for an extended viewing (and, of course, my three essays will continue to be accessible on the site). Among my Guest Series commentators, special thanks to: Alice Brown, PhD, Brooklyn, who faithfully posted on all three essays; and to the following respected specialists: Isobel Grundy, PhD, Alberta, CA; Ann Waldron, MD, Reno, NV; Felix de Villiers, Verona, Italy; Beverly E. Schneller, PhD, Nashville, TN; Hermann Real, PhD, Muenster, Germany; Mona Scheuermann, PhD, Chicago; Dan Heldridge, San Francisco; Ann M. Bogle, Minneapolis; Margaret Mulvihill, London; Mary Ann Mulvihill-Decker, NY; Alice Blueglass, Sarasota, FL; Lorna Clark, PhD, Ontario, CA; Mary Finn, NYC; June Harrison, NYC; a few others I've yet to meet; and most recently, Philip R. Bishop, Ephrata, PA, whose Mosher Press is an inspiration < http://www.thomasbirdmosher.net/ >. My affectionate thanks to each of you. And now, this evening of 15 December, let us look skyward for the special Margaret Cavendish Star.
Smiles & a wave,
Maureen E. Mulvihill, 2016 Guest Writer.
___


Posted On: 2016-12-18 12:39
User Name: davidbarry

Beautifully written, how very fortunate are we to have such a writer, scholar and one of the nicest people I am so lucky to call a friend.
We truly need more people in this world like Maureen.

David Barry, Bookbinding Conservator


Posted On: 2016-12-19 18:20
User Name: mairin111

P.S. to my thank-you note, above:

And hearty thanks, as well, to David Barry, Griffin Bookbinding LLC, St Petersburg, Florida,
for the generous Comment. Mr Barry has been the Conservator of my old timers
since 2011; and thanks to his good eye & judgment, my collection of rare & special
books has never looked better. And he's a courteous sort, too, which goes a long way
with me. A few years ago, David was a guest speaker at the invitation of the Florida Bibliophile Society; he gave a demonstration on book restoration, at his shop in St
Petersburg ~ 'twas an SRO event. David Barry is a bookman in ye olde Welsh character! And he made a stunning contribution to my "Pulter" and "Cavendish" essays. A valued associate, indeed.
Counting my blessings this holidays season,
Maureen E. Mulvihill / 19th December 2016.
____


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Cartwright (George). <i>A Journal of Transactions and Events, during a Residence of nearly Sixteen Years on the Coast of Labrador...,</i> first edition, with A.L.s. from the author, 1792. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Swift (Jonathan). <i>Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World,</i> 2 vol., first edition, Teerink's "A" edition, Printed for Benj. Motte, 1726. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Fourier (Jean Baptiste Joseph). <i>Theorie Analytique de la Chaleur,</i> first edition, Paris, chez Firmin Didot, 1822. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Boccaccio (Giovanni). <i>Genealogiae Deorum,</i> additions by Dominicus Silvester and Raphael Zovenzonius, Venice, Vindelinus de Spira, 1472. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Mary I. Letter signed at the head "Marye the Quene" to Lord Paget, 1 page, 7th June 1556. The recall from exile of nine persons opposed to the Marian regime. £10,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Nelson (Horatio). Autograph Letter signed "Horatio Nelson" and written to Francis Drake, British Minister at Genoa, discussing the disposition of his "Cruizers" near Genoa. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Darwin (Charles). Unpublished Autograph Letter signed to Walter Raleigh Browne, playing down his scientific knowledge of comparative anatomy, 1881. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Murphew (J.). <i>The fair in an uproar, or, the dancing-doggs.</i> As they perform in Mr. Pinkeman's New Opera in Bartholomew Fair, 1707. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Chaucer (Geoffrey). <i>The Workes,</i> by [Nicholas Hill for] Thomas Petit, dwellyng in Paules churche yarde at the sygne of the Maydens heed, 1550. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Austen (Jane). <i>Emma: A Novel,</i> 3 vol., first edition, 1816. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>Stamboul Train,</i> first edition, first issue, 1932. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Churchill.- Fearon (Percy Hutton) "Poy". “Eat More Beef,” pen and ink cartoon with shading in blue pencil, [July 1928]. £400 to £600
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions