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Old 04-26-2012, 01:16 PM
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Williamb Williamb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Riley View Post
I downloaded her biography of William and have read parts of it. Apparently he was controversial "and had the "misfortune to have somewhat of the poet in him." I gather that some Royalists thought they could have taken London in 1643 but William refused to join in on the assault. He took off for France the day after Marsten Moor.

I've enjoyed the bits I've read. You might want to find a copy.

John
Thanks John, will do.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:48 PM
Kimberly Poitevin Kimberly Poitevin is offline
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I did some work on Cavendish back in graduate school-- she was an incredibly prolific writer in her day. In addition to volumes of poetry, she published a novel called "The Blazing World" (some go as far even to call it the first sci-fi novel ever written) and 2 huge folios of plays (complete with opening letters to the reader that parody those in Ben Jonson's folio).

She had a huge interest in science and was the first woman to be allowed into the Royal Society of London (where I know she watched Boyle do some experiments and probably others-- my memory fails me). It's also worth noting that at the end of her biography of her husband she includes an autobiography of herself! She was someone very aware of how writers (like Ben Jonson) constructed personae for themselves and I think she had a lot of fun constructing her own. I think that's part of what she's doing in the passage Williamb quotes-- and I don't think it would be so far off to call Cavendish a proto-feminist, either. She knows how women are perceived and so deliberately downplays herself, but it's very tongue-in-cheek.

(see also Wendy Wall's fascinating The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance)

fantastic to see people talking of her here!
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:06 AM
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Gail White Gail White is offline
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I just noticed this thread today. Thanks, William -- I had heard about Margaret Cavendish for years without ever seeing a line of her poetry.
Basically, all I knew of her was Virginia Woolf's sketch in "The Common Reader", which was enough to make me curious, but I never followed it up.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:41 PM
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Williamb Williamb is offline
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Hi Gail,

Thank you for adding your thoughts here in this thread. I'm very pleased. My first acquaintance with you was, I believe, when you gave an interview for an issue of the Poet's Market. It was sometime in the late eightees or early ninetees. I'm thinking '87, which I believe was edited by Judson Jerome. I submitted some poems to a journal you were editing then (sorry, can't remember what it was called), but alas! I was rejected. I will sure feel stupid if I am thinking of someone else, but I'm pretty sure it was you.

Kimberly,

Yes, it's quite an astonishing body of work for a woman of that time period, or any time period really. I went to Amazon to see about the Wendy Wall book, and I nearly had a siezure when I saw the price for a new edition: $426.21!

Good Lord, is that what they're charging for books nowadays! Of course, I can get one used for much less. I just may, as I am keenly interested in women writers and all the nonsense they had to deal with throughout the ages.

Thanks again to you both for keeping this amazing person's memory alive, even if just a little.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:02 PM
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Gail White Gail White is offline
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Good Lord, think of your remembering that about me. Yes, it was 1987, and for some years I was poetry editor of the Piedmont Literary Review.
It was somewhat frustrating, as my efforts to get more formalists to submit poetry were up against the necessity of publishing work by
members of the PLR group who supported it financially Eventually I resigned, a more principled editor came in who refused to publish the PLR members, their money went away and the journal folded. I hope you've had better luck since then!
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