A Woman to Know: Margaret Cavendish

If I am condemned; I shall be annihilated to nothing; but my ambition is such as I would either be a world, or nothing. — Margaret

(the inside engraving to one of Margaret's works, image via Wikimedia Commons)

As Margaret Cavendish was writing poems, science fiction and 17th century treatises on physics, she also did something radical: she didn't publish under a pseudonym. She continued writing about utopia, dystopia, "modern" innovation (well, modern for then), female experience and philosophy under her own name.

And something even more radical: people read what she wrote. They called her mad and they harassed her — but they read it. Her psychedelically feminist novel, "The Blazing World," is often credited as the first popular work of science fiction written by a woman.

But I love her out-of-mind poetry most of all. My favorite of Margaret Cavendish's poems is "Of Many Worlds," which ends with these five lines:

What several worlds might in an earring be:
For millions of those atoms may be in
The head of one small, little, single pin.
And if thus small, then ladies may well wear
A world of worlds, as pendants in each ear.

Mmmmmm.

Add to your reading list:

Read more:

*~Send your recommendations for women to know! Reply to this newsletter with your lady and she could be featured in an upcoming edition.~*

So many thanks to Sophie Brookover for recommending Margaret as a woman to know! FOREVER appreciative of her suggestions, and of the support from Two Bossy Dames. <3