The Consolation of Natural Philosophy

Rachel Trubowitz

in The Oxford Handbook of Literature and the English Revolution

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560608
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

The Consolation of Natural Philosophy

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)



This article discusses how natural philosophy helped Margaret Lucas Cavendish come to terms with the terrible losses she suffered during the English Revolution as well as the disappointments she experienced after the Restoration. Science, for the Duchess, was preferable to religion as a source of consolation. The article offers a speculative, symptomatic explanation for the Duchess's enduring horror vacui and for her plenist view of nature's eternal process of renewal, including the bold challenge it presents to the consolatory, orthodox doctrine of the immortality of the soul.

Keywords: Margaret Lucas Cavendish; Duchess of Newcastle; English Revolution; Restoration; soul; natural philosophy renewal

Article.  5849 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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