Margaret Cavendish, Duchess Of Newcastle, Royalist, Writer and Romantic.
One of the first Englishwomen to make a living through her writing, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, known as Mad Madge, was a dazzling figure - brave, eccentric, loving, clever and energetic.
Mad Madge designed her own clothes and her coach was black with silver decoration. As John Evelyn wrote, gentlemen visitors were "much pleased by the extraordinary fanciful habit, garb and discourse of the Duchess". Born into an East Anglian royalist family in 1623, young Margaret Lucas went into Court service, accompanying the Queen, Henrietta Maria, to Oxford during the Civil War and sharing her hair-raising escape to France in 1644.
In Paris, she met and married William Cavendish, Marquis of Newcastle, a great horseman. They lived together in exile for 10 years, as part of the emigre royalist circle that included aristocrats and the intellectual giants of the day, such as Descartes and Hobbes.
Margaret had always loved poetry and philosophy - and now she became a writer. Plays, short fiction, fantasies, "science fiction" and verse, orations, letters, essays, an autobiography and a biography, six philosophical treatises and one utopia . . .
She made her mark as one of the most determined and prolific of female writers in an age when less than one per cent of published work was by women and society was shocked that she dared to publish under her own name.
- Publication Date:
- 06 / 06 / 2002
- 158 x 237mm