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)

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, <i>El Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha . . . Nueva Edición,</i> first Ibarra edition, Madrid, 1780. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Prayer Book in Latin and French, France, 1530-40s. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin, France, mid-15th century. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b><br><i>Die Ernsthaffte Christenpflicht,</i> earliest known edition of the first complete Mennonite prayer book, 1708. $300 to $500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Georg Agricola, <i>De ortu & causis subterraneorum Lib V.,</i> first edition, Basel, 1546. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Frederick Ruysch, <i>Icon durae matris in concava [convexa] superficie visae,</i> with 2 mezzotints by Jan Ladmiral, first edition, Amsterdam, 1737. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, <i>Eine Neue Art von Strahlen,</i> Würzburg, 1895. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pietro Carrera, <i>Il Gioco de gli Scacchi,</i> first edition, Militello, 1617. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> William Lithgow, <i>The Totall Discourse, of the Rare Adventures</i> [etc.], London, 1632. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Michel de Nostradamus, <i>The True Prophecies or Prognostications,</i> first complete edition in English, London, 1672. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pseudo-Methodius, <i>De revelatione facta . . . beato Methodio,</i> Basel, 1504. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Hrabanus Maurus, <i>De laudibus sancte crucis opus,</i> Pforzheim, 1503. $1,000 to $2,000.
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Autographs & Memorabilia. February 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Autograph album featuring signatures by prominent actors, politicians, musicians and authors, including Rudolph Valentino. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> An extremely rare working radio script for Crazy People No 29, the first series of <i>The Goon Show.</i> £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Manuscript prayer book, in German. 8vo, 1755 £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Italian Manuscript on Geometry, with diagrams, 18th century. £500 to £700
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Thorburn (Archibald). Sparrowhawk, original watercolour & gouache, signed & dated lower right, 1917. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Burton (Sir Richard Francis). <i>Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah.</i> 3 vol., FIRST EDITION, 1855-56. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> [Mount (Richard) & Page (Thomas)]. <i>The English Pilot. Describing the Sea-Coasts…</i> 31 engraved maps, W. & J. Mount, T. Page, 1756 £4000 to £6000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> D’apres De Mannevillette (Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Denis). <i>Le Neptune Oriental.</i> Paris & Brest, [1775 – 1781]. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Loring (Josiah). Terrestrial Globe Containing all the Late Discoveries and Geographical Improvements. Boston, Gilman Joslin, 1846, £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Shelley (G. E., Capt.). <i>A Monograph of the Nectariniidae, or Family of Sun-birds,</i> FIRST EDITION, by the Author, 1876-80. £4,000 to £6,000
  • <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's commission as Major General in the Continental Army, February 19th, 1777. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Broadside. A Poem Upon the Bloody Engagement That Was Fought on Bunker's-Hill. 1775. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Paul Revere. Engraving, “The Boston Massacre Perpetrated on March 5, 1770," in <i>Massachusett's Calendar 1772.</i> $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Earliest known newspaper coverage of Babe Ruth, "a St Mary's schoolboy," Baltimore, April 4, 1914. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Franklin, Benjamin. <i>The Independent Whig.</i> First Magazine Published in America, Philadelphia: Keimer, 1723-4. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Smith, Joseph. <i>The Book of Mormon.</i> Palmyra: Printed by E.B. Grandin for the Author, 1830. First printing. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Last Words of Joseph Smith. Autograph Letter Signed from a Mormon disciple, conveying a contemporary account of the Prophet's final words, Nauvoo, July 27, 1844. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> John Brown's Body. Autograph Letter Signed from the daughter of John Brown attempting to arrange the return of her father's body, North Elba, Essex Co, NY, November 29, 1859. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Powell Expedition. Autograph diary of Rhodes C. Allen kept during the Powell Expedition of 1868, June 29, 1868 - November 16, 1868. $20,000 to $40,000

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