Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2017 Issue

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

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 haut coutoure. 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: 2017-01-02 19:47
User Name: mairin111

To access the complete thread of posted Comments on this essay, from a range of appreciative collectors & book specialists, see its original December 2016 'Preview' link:

< http://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2117 >
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Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Forum Auctions
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    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
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    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
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    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
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    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.

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