Margaret the First

By Danielle Dutton
As one of the queen's attendants and the daughter of prominent Royalists, Margaret Lucas was exiled to France when King Charles I was overthrown. While the English Civil War raged on, she met and married William Cavendish, an aristocratic landowner and poet. He encouraged both her writing and her desire for a career--a singular relationship at the time. After Cromwell's defeat, Margaret and William returned to England, where her work, behavior, and sense of style--including once attending the theater in a topless gown-- earned her both fame and infamy. A curious Samuel Pepys kept an eye out for "Mad Madge," in London, writing in his diary that "The Duchess of Newcastle is all the pageant now discoursed on." At the dawn of daily newspapers, she was a tabloid celebrity, yet she was also the first woman to be invited to the Royal Society of London--a mainstay of the Scientific Revolution--and the last for another two hundred years. Margaret the First is an intimate story of woman whose modern sensibility was out of step with her times, one whose work as a philosopher has recently drawn the attention of the academy. Stylistically quick, with sharp cuts through narrative time, the novel also revels in the physicality of a garden or a landscape, and turns tender in its rendering of family and marital ties.


    REVIEW QUOTES
PRAISE FOR DANIELLE DUTTON Margaret the First "Ever since I first encountered her writing, I've told every serious reader I know that Danielle Dutton is one of the most original and wonderfully weird prose stylists of our time, every bit the contemporary of Lydia Davis, Cesar Aira, and Diane Williams. How perfect that her new novel is a portrait of Margaret of Newcastle, whose perceived excesses and eccentricities were an object of fascination for her time, as well as for Virginia Woolf, who laments in A Room of One's Own, What a vision of loneliness and riot the thought of Margaret Cavendish brings to mind! And what a visionary portrait Margaret the First is, not only for the sheer joy of the sentences, but also as it s a marvel of tenderness, rewriting a historical caricature as a life, delighting in Margaret's passion for writing and love of the beautiful and strange from childhood on. I am in awe of what Dutton accomplishes here, in this novel of the small and the sublime. What a triumph!" Kate Zambreno, author of "Green Girl" Attempts at a Life: Stories (2007) "Refreshingly eccentric. . .Glorious." --Kate Zambreno, author of "Green Girl," in "Review of Contemporary Fiction" "Indescribably beautiful, also indescribable." --Daniel Handler, "Entertainment Weekly" "Danielle Dutton writes with a deft explosiveness that craters the page with stunning, unsettling precision." --Laird Hunt, author of "Neverhome"

Sprawl: A Novel (2010) "Both unabashedly voracious in terms of literary sources and an extraordinarily original text." --"The Believer" "In the long line of novels about the vapidity of suburbia, Dutton's has a narrator who may be one of the most likable. Aloof and hilarious, she dissects lives with the casualness of a cynical scientist." --"TimeOut Chicago" "Dutton's mini-masterpiece--a womanly treatise on suburban decay and fatigued love-- is a triumph! Each sentence should be celebrated for its hilarity, rigor, eccentricity, and passion. Sprawl is the work of a brilliant mind." --Deb Olin Unferth, author of NBCC finalist "Revolution""




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About the Paperback

Publisher Catapult
Publish date 03/15/2016
Pages 160
ISBN-13 9781936787357
Language English

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