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>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.
  • <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 14. [CRIMEAN WAR] HAMLEY. <i>The Story of the Campaign of Sebastopol.</i> 1855. £150 to £200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 17. JONGH & D'ALMEIDA. <i>L’armee Russe...</i> c.1898. Colour plates and many illustrations. £500 to £600
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 18. [RUSSIA] LE PRINCE. <i>Oeuvres. 1782.</i> Rare folio format with 80 etchings and 74 aquatints. £4000 to £6000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 21. [RUSSIA] MORNAY. Set of 8 hand-coloured aquatints of carriages, sleighs and occupants. c.1825. £1200 to £1800
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 33. BOWDICH. <i>Excursions in Madeira and Porto Santo.</i> 1825. A fine copy. £800 to £1200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 37. QUIN. <i>An Historical Atlas.</i> 1836. 2nd edn, 21 hand-coloured maps revealing civilisation. £800 to £1200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 39. LE BRUN. <i>Voyages [...] par la Moscovie, en Perse...</i> 1718. 300+ engravings, panorama. £4500 to £5500
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 48. BRIERLY. <i>The English and French fleets in the Baltic.</i> 1855. Colour lithographs. £7000 to £9000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 60. DELLA VALLE. <i>Reise Beschreibung... in Turckey, Egypten, Palestina[...].</i> 1674. £1500 to £2000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 77. MURRAY, Mrs. Watercolour Album of Heaths. c.1860. 55 original watercolours. £750 to £1000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 91. ADDISON. <i>Works...</i> 1721. 4 vols, large paper copy, English red morocco. £2500 to £3500
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 96. HOLBEIN. Imitations of original drawings. 1792-1800. Exceptional copy. £4000 to £6000
  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions