Listen here!

Marie Hause, Victoria Reynolds Farmer, and Leah Henning discuss Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World, a groundbreaking piece of speculative fiction by a unique seventeenth-century female writer and philosopher.


  • Background on Cavendish: her life, her works, The Blazing World (1666) and its context
  • Our reactions to Cavendish and The Blazing World


  • Plot outline of The Blazing World
  • The Blazing World and gender
    • A woman in power
    • Seventeenth-century context
  • The Blazing World and religion
    • Women in the church
    • Rhetoric of Heaven and Hell


  • Danielle Dutton, Margaret the First (2016)
  • Marina Leslie, “Gender, Genre and the Utopian Body in Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World.” Utopian Studies 7.1 (1996): 6-24; and Thomas More’s Utopia (Norton Critical Edition).
  • Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies
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