Margaret Cavendish

(1623—1673) writer

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'Margaret Cavendish' can also refer to...

Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (1715—1785) collector of art and natural history specimens and patron of arts and sciences


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Prolific writer whose topics included science and its philosophy. She moved from Epicurean atomism to a more organic view of the material world, raising problems for the notion of inert matter. Her works include Philosophical Letters (1664), Observations on Experimental Philosophy (1666) and Grounds of Natural Philosophy (1668). Virginia Woolf said of her: ‘though her philosophies are futile, and her plays intolerable, and her verses mainly dull, the vast bulk of the Duchess is leavened by a vein of authentic fire’.

Subjects: Literature.

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