My Account | My Wishlist | My Cart | Log In

Facebook logo Twitter logo Pinterest logo Pinterest logo

Margaret the First (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
Margaret the First Cover Image
$15.95
On Our Shelves Now
2 on hand, as of Dec 13 11:01am
(FICTION)

Staff Reviews


17th century author Margaret Cavendish was one of the first in many ways--one of the first women to publish under her own name, one of the first writers of what we, today, identify as science fiction, one of our earliest women philosophers and naturalists and playwrights whose work has surived to present day. But in this novelization of her life, Danielle Dutton reaches beyond Cavendish’s dazzling biography to create an extraordinary inner landscape, every bit as original on a molecular level as her historical legacy has become. Slim but overflowing with keen insight and lush strangeness, you will want to live in Cavendish’s head for longer than this novel’s pages--and the quietly subversive questions it asks  will stay with you long after it’s done. -Kea's March Staff Pick, 2016

 

Typically, I stay away from historical fiction unless it's about the 20th century. I'm very happy I overcame my bias. Margaret Cavendish was shy, a bit insecure, loyal, creative, brave and many more wonderful things. Dutton's prose is beautiful and I fully enjoyed the creative way she tells Mad Marge's story. A definitive recommend. -Randy's March Staff Pick, 2016

 

The entire period both just before, during, and just after the Enlightenment was filled with individuals seemingly larger than life, robustly engaged in challenging any preconception they could find, hunting them down, nailing them to a board, dissecting them, and flinging their conclusions in the face of any convention that presumed to deny them agency. Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, was an eccentric, brilliant woman who challenged a convention further. First woman to be invited to address the infant Royal Society, before men like Boyle and Pepys, she fought against an inborn reticence to make herself more than society insisted she should be. She wrote, she made her own clothes, she presented audaciously, upsetting apple carts and collecting admirers and champions, producing plays and books, including one proto-science fiction novel. She styled herself Margaret the First. The full flavor of the period and her place in it---and against it---is on display in Danielle Dutton's marvelous novel. -Mark's March Staff Pick, 2016

 

17th century author Margaret Cavendish was one of the first in many ways--one of the first women to publish under her own name, one of the first writers of what we, today, identify as science fiction, one of our earliest women philosophers and naturalists and playwrights whose work has surived to present day. But in this novelization of her life, Danielle Dutton reaches beyond Cavendish’s dazzling biography to create an extraordinary inner landscape, every bit as original on a molecular level as her historical legacy has become. Slim but overflowing with keen insight and lush strangeness, you will want to live in Cavendish’s head for longer than this novel’s pages--and the quietly subversive questions it asks  will stay with you long after it’s done. -Kea's March Staff Pick, 2016

 
— From Kea's Reading List

The entire period both just before, during, and just after the Enlightenment was filled with individuals seemingly larger than life, robustly engaged in challenging any preconception they could find, hunting them down, nailing them to a board, dissecting them, and flinging their conclusions in the face of any convention that presumed to deny them agency. Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, was an eccentric, brilliant woman who challenged a convention further. First woman to be invited to address the infant Royal Society, before men like Boyle and Pepys, she fought against an inborn reticence to make herself more than society insisted she should be. She wrote, she made her own clothes, she presented audaciously, upsetting apple carts and collecting admirers and champions, producing plays and books, including one proto-science fiction novel. She styled herself Margaret the First. The full flavor of the period and her place in it---and against it---is on display in Danielle Dutton's marvelous novel. -Mark's March Staff Pick, 2016

 
— From Mark's Reading List

Typically, I stay away from historical fiction unless it's about the 20th century. I'm very happy I overcame my bias. Margaret Cavendish was shy, a bit insecure, loyal, creative, brave and many more wonderful things. Dutton's prose is beautiful and I fully enjoyed the creative way she tells Mad Marge's story. A definitive recommend. - randy

— From The Standards

March 2016 Indie Next List


“Dutton's novel takes the already extraordinary life of Margaret Cavendish - 17th century natural philosopher, author of The Blazing World, and Duchess of Newcastle -- and transforms it into a stunning work of historical fiction. With women in the sciences a hot issue today, Margaret the First satisfies a craving for women's writing, women's voices, and women's stories, painting a portrait of a sensitive, thoughtful woman hungry not just for praise and recognition, but acknowledgment, affirmation, and validation. Margaret the First is a triumph!”
— Liz Wright (W), Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Description


Margaret the First dramatizes the life of Margaret Cavendish, the shy, gifted, and wildly unconventional 17th-century Duchess. The eccentric Margaret wrote and published volumes of poems, philosophy, feminist plays, and utopian science fiction at a time when "being a writer" was not an option open to women. As one of the Queen's attendants and the daughter of prominent Royalists, she was exiled to France when King Charles I was overthrown. As the English Civil War raged on, Margaret met and married William Cavendish, who encouraged her writing and her desire for a career. After the War, her work earned her both fame and infamy in England: at the dawn of daily newspapers, she was "Mad Madge," an original tabloid celebrity. Yet Margaret was also the first woman to be invited to the Royal Society of London--a mainstay of the Scientific Revolution--and the last for another two hundred years.

Margaret the First is very much a contemporary novel set in the past. Written with lucid precision and sharp cuts through narrative time, it is a gorgeous and wholly new approach to imagining the life of a historical woman.

About the Author


Danielle Dutton's fiction has appeared in magazines such as Harper's, BOMB, Fence, and Noon. She is the author of a collection of hybrid prose pieces, Attempts at a Life, which Daniel Handler in Entertainment Weekly called "indescribably beautiful," and an experimental novel, S P R A W L, a finalist for the Believer Book Award. In 2015, she wrote the texts for Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera, an artists' book with collages by Richard Kraft. Dutton holds a PhD in Literature and Writing from the University of Denver, an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Prior to her current position on the creative writing faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, she taught in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa and was the book designer at Dalkey Archive Press. In 2010, Dutton founded the small press Dorothy, a publishing project, named for her great aunt Dorothy Traver, a librarian who drove a bookmobile through the back hills of southern California. Now in its fifth year, the press's books are widely reviewed. The press itself has been praised in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, and Dutton has been interviewed in the Paris Review, Kirkus, and elsewhere for her work promoting innovative women writers.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781936787357
ISBN-10: 1936787350
Publisher: Catapult
Publication Date: March 15th, 2016
Pages: 176
Language: English