NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED174533
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-May
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673) and the Uses of Women's History.
Polomo, Delores
Research of the lives of almost unknown women such as Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673) provides valuable perspectives on contemporary problems affecting women and establishes a tradition of female development and community. Cavendish published 14 volumes of poetry, prose fiction, plays, and a biography of her husband plus five volumes of natural philosophy between 1653 and 1668. Because she rarely found the support of other women, she created fantasies of utopias in which women could become scholars, architects, generals, rulers, and scientists. She suggested that marriage undermines the psychological independence necessary for achievement. In her study of science, her lack of formal education freed her from the limitations of her male contemporaries. Although no one has taken her scientific work seriously, her premise of a rational, self-moving matter is more compatible with modern concepts of matter than the ideas of her contemporaries. Finally, Cavendish's writings reveal the psychological price paid by women who sought intellectual distinction in societies that regarded such activity as unwomanly. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Presented at the Women's Studies Challenge to Tradition Symposium (May 1978)