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Margaret Cavendish's Natures Pictures

Dorman, Rebecca (2018) Margaret Cavendish's Natures Pictures. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Margaret Cavendish’s place in the field of early modern women’s writing is indisputable, as scholarship since the 1990s, and perhaps even earlier, has shown. Presentation of Natures Pictures as a whole is an important next step in Cavendish scholarship. The collection of texts in this volume provides evidence of Cavendish’s facility with genre, to include life writing, as well as her ability to navigate the complexities of a wide range of topics, from the interactions between the sexes to natural philosophy. While Cavendish is socially conservative, that is, she tends toward tradition in her views on women, men, and government, her natural philosophy destabilizes those views and establishes a tension in her writing. She argues that nature is constituted of self-moving matter and that matter can assume an infinite number of forms. She believes every entity in nature is a unique combination of rational, sensitive, and dull matter. This critical edition of Natures Pictures the first to include all ninety-two works comprising the volume as it was published in 1656, contains commentary that speaks to the ways in which the notion of variety shaped Cavendish’s perspective and writing. It provides information on Cavendish’s family and career as well as her connections to other early modern women writers. Glosses of difficult or obsolete words are provided; handwritten additions and deletions are noted; cross-references to other works by Margaret Cavendish are furnished; relevant works by Cavendish scholars and other early modern scholars are noted; and references to the 1671 edition of Natures Pictures are provided when those references clarify a word or phrase. My objective was to create a text that would appeal to the literate lay reader as well as the scholar.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Rebecca Dorman
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 11:21
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2019 11:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23063

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