MAdam, you being young, handsome, rich, and virtuous, I hope you will not cast away those gifts of Nature, Fortune, and Heaven, upon a Person which cannot merit you?
Author: Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle
Publisher: Library of Alexandria
MAdam, you being young, handsome, rich, and virtuous, I hope you will not cast away those gifts of Nature, Fortune, and Heaven, upon a Person which cannot merit you? L. Happy. Let me tell you, that Riches ought to be bestowed on such as are poor, and want means to maintain themselves; and Youth, on those that are old; Beauty, on those that are ill-favoured; and Virtue, on those that are vicious: So that if I should place my gifts rightly, I must Marry one that's poor, old, ill-favoured, and debauch'd.
Loves Adventures (1662) centers on a woman succeeding in war and diplomacy by passing as a man. Similarly, the heroine of Bell in Campo (1662) rescues her husband at the head of an army of women in this tale of a marriage of near equals.
Author: Margaret Cavendish Duchess of Newcastle
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673), until recently remembered more as a flamboyant eccentric than as a serious writer, was in fact the most prolific, thought-provoking, and original woman writer of the Restoration. Cavendish is the author of many poems, short stories, biographies, memoirs, letters, philosophical and scientific works (including The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing World, the first work of science fiction by a woman), and nineteen plays. "The Convent of Pleasure" and Other Plays collects four of Cavendish's dramatic works that are among the most revealing of her attitudes toward marriage and her desire for fame. Loves Adventures (1662) centers on a woman succeeding in war and diplomacy by passing as a man. Similarly, the heroine of Bell in Campo (1662) rescues her husband at the head of an army of women in this tale of a marriage of near equals. The Convent of Pleasure (1668) proposes a separatist community of women and has received attention for its suggestion of lesbian sexuality. The Bridals (1662), a more typical restoration comedy satirizing marriage, rounds out the collection. Edited with notes and annotation by Anne Shaver, "The Convent of Pleasure" and Other Plays also contains a timeline, biography and bibliography of the Duchess, an appreciation of Cavendish's life and work, and a bibliography of critical essays. Also included are all of Cavendish's epistles To the Reader as well as Other Preliminary Matter from Playes (1662), and Cavendish's original preface to Plays Never Before Printed (1668). A valuable collection from an extraordinary writer, "The Convent of Pleasure" and Other Plays raises important issues about womenand gender.
She did not limit herself to the genres considered "acceptable" for those few women who dared to publish in the late seventeenth century; instead, she wrote philosophical and scientific works, a utopian romance that has often been called ...
Author: Margaret Cavendish
Margaret Lucas Cavendish, duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673), began her literary career in 1653, with the publication of a volume of her poems and another of her "philosophical fancies." Her writing continued at a hectic pace for nearly two decades. She did not limit herself to the genres considered "acceptable" for those few women who dared to publish in the late seventeenth century; instead, she wrote philosophical and scientific works, a utopian romance that has often been called the first work of science fiction in English, a biography of her husband, and her own autobiography. She also published two collections of dramatic works: the first of these, Plays, appeared in 1662, the second, Plays, Never before Printed, in 1668. Cavendish was keenly aware that her comedies and tragedies were unlikely to be acted, at least in her lifetime, but that did not deter her. "To those that do delight in scenes and wit / I dedicate my book," she writes in a brief poem at the beginning of Plays. She continues, "For all the time my plays a-making were, / My brain the stage, my thoughts were acting there." Today the most widely read of Cavendish's plays is The Convent of Pleasure, from Plays, Never before Printed. In this provocative comedy, Cavendish presents us with the delightful Lady Happy, whose determined efforts to avoid the pains of men and marriage lead her to construct a convent where women can devote themselves to enjoying life's pleasures. The women who retreat with her into the Convent of Pleasure are determined to avoid not only the dangers of men and marriage but also of childbirth and motherhood. Even so, they will not deny themselves the pleasures of love. Inside her convent, Lady Happy dares to imagine a radical alternative to marriage: since men and marriage cause only pain and suffering, perhaps a woman can fulfill her emotional and sexual desires with another woman. When she finds her soul's mate in a princess (rather than a prince), Lady Happy poses a critical question to herself and to us: "But why may not I love a woman with the same affection I could a man?" This Saltar's Point Press edition, designed for classroom use, provides readers with an ample introduction to Cavendish's life and work, a carefully modernized and well-presented text, helpful glosses and notes, a bibliography with references for further reading, and a chronology of Cavendish's published work.
In addition to The Blazing World, this volume includes Cavendish’s brief autobiography, A True Relation of My Birth, Breeding and Life (1667), her play The Convent of Pleasure, and selections from her Sociable Letters, her poetry, and her ...
Author: Margaret Cavendish
Publisher: Broadview Press
Margaret Cavendish was one of the most subversive and entertaining writers of the seventeenth century. She invented new genres, challenged gender roles, and critiqued the new science as well as the mores of society. “Paper Bodies” was the wonderful phrase she used to described her manuscripts, which she hoped would continue to make “a great Blazing Light” after her death. There are connections here to Cavendish’s most famous work, The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World (1666), a unique tale of a woman travelling through the north pole to a strange new world. In addition to The Blazing World, this volume includes Cavendish’s brief autobiography, A True Relation of My Birth, Breeding and Life (1667), her play The Convent of Pleasure, and selections from her Sociable Letters, her poetry, and her critical writings. A variety of background documents by other seventeenth-century writers helps to set her work in context for the modern reader.
Material on Measure for Measure and The Convent of Pleasure in Chapter 6
appeared in an earlier form as " Pure Resistance : Queer ( y ) ing Virginity in
William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and Margaret Cavendish's The
Convent of ...
Author: Theodora A. Jankowski
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Noting that though Christian thought has consistently held virginity to be purer than married life, a virgin woman has always queer been in social terms, Jankowsky (English, Washington State U.) explores the tensions behind the many representations of virgin women in English stage plays from 1590 to about 1670 and how those representations can be considered queer. Annotation copyrighted by Book News Inc., Portland, OR
Margaret told her mother she wanted to leave the Court. Her mother was adamant that she should stay and not disgrace herself by leaving. She provided additional funds for her to make life easier. Margaret remained.
Author: MARGARET CAVENDISH.
Publisher: Stage Door
Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne was born in 1623 in Colchester, Essex into a family of comfortable means. As the youngest of eight children she spent much time with her siblings. Margaret had no formal education but she did have access to scholarly libraries and tutors, although she later said the children paid little attention to the tutors, who were there 'rather for formality than benefit'. From an early age Margaret was already assembling her thoughts for future works despite the then conditions of society that women did not partake in public authorship. For England it was also a time of Civil War. The Royalists were being pushed back and Parliamentary forces were in the ascendancy. Despite these obvious dangers, when Queen Henrietta Maria was in Oxford, Margaret asked her mother for permission to become one of her Ladies-in-waiting. She was accepted and, in 1644, accompanied the Queen into exile in France. This took her away from her family for the first time. Despite living at the Court of the young King Louis XIV, life for the young Margaret was not what she expected. She was far from her home and her confidence had been replaced by shyness and difficulties fitting in to the grandeur of her surroundings and the eminence of her company. Margaret told her mother she wanted to leave the Court. Her mother was adamant that she should stay and not disgrace herself by leaving. She provided additional funds for her to make life easier. Margaret remained. It was now also that she met and married William Cavendish who, at the time, was the Marquis of Newcastle (and later Duke). He was also 30 years her senior and previously married with two children. As Royalists, a return to life in England was not yet possible. They would remain in exile in Paris, Rotterdam and Antwerp until the restoration of the crown in 1660 although Margaret was able to return for attention to some estate matters. Along with her husband's brother, Sir Charles Cavendish, she travelled to England after having been told that her husband's estate (taken from him due to his being a royalist) was to be sold and that she, as his wife, would receive some benefit of the sale. She received nothing. She left England to be with her husband again. The couple were devoted to each other. Margaret wrote that he was the only man she was ever in love with, loving him not for title, wealth or power, but for merit, justice, gratitude, duty, and fidelity. She also relied upon him for support in her career. The marriage provided no children despite efforts made by her physician to overcome her inability to conceive. Margaret's first book, 'Poems and Fancies', was published in 1653; it was a collection of poems, epistles and prose pieces which explores her philosophical, scientific and aesthetic ideas. For a woman at this time writing and publishing were avenues they had great difficulty in pursuing. Added to this was Margaret's range of subjects. She wrote across a number of issues including gender, power, manners, scientific method, and philosophy. She always claimed she had too much time on her hands and was therefore able to indulge her love of writing. As a playwright she produced many works although most are as closet dramas. (This is a play not intended to be performed onstage, but instead read by a solitary reader or perhaps out loud in a small group. For Margaret the rigours of exile, her gender and Cromwell's closing of the theatres mean this was her early vehicle of choice and, despite these handicaps, she became one of the most well-known playwrights in England) Her utopian romance, 'The Blazing World', (1666) is one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Margaret also published extensively in natural philosophy and early modern science; at least a dozen books. She was the first woman to attend a meeting at Royal Society of London in 1667 and she critic
Although contemporary criticism of Margaret Cavendish's The Convent of Pleasure often focuses on Happy's convent as a site of queer resistance, my prosodic analysis of the verse structure of the 4.1 pastoral scene suggests that Lady Happy's ...
Author: Seth Logan Swanner
Although contemporary criticism of Margaret Cavendish's The Convent of Pleasure often focuses on Happy's convent as a site of queer resistance, my prosodic analysis of the verse structure of the 4.1 pastoral scene suggests that Lady Happy's convent is not defined negatively in relation to the patriarchy (as in resistance); rather, her convent is established to reflect her positively defined homoerotic desires. The Prince's successful infiltration of Happy's convent depends, then, upon not only his temporary rejection of patriarchal imperatives but also upon his assumption of the "feminine" discourse that Happy establishes as the discursive currency of her convent. The ways in which Happy delivers prose in scenes prior to 4.1 suggest that she prefers both content that glorifies nature and structure that demonstrates speed and poetic continuity. Likewise in the 4.1 scene, the disguised Prince delivers to Happy an erotic suit that succeeds because of its smooth, swift iambic trimeter form. The Prince's gender mimicry, then, extends beyond the standard adoption of cross-gendered clothing to an appropriation of positively defined, "feminine" ways of speaking. With this poetic gender mimicry, the Prince is able to infiltrate Happy's feminine utopia and collapse it from the inside by insinuating the patriarchal imperative of marriage into his otherwise feminine discourse. The poetic mode that Happy espouses represents a mode of feminine resistance that is borne out in Butlerian theories of gendered resistance. Happy's convent, then, characterizes a need to move beyond received (and largely inaccurate) notions of Butlerian performativity and to shift focus toward the more manageable terms of iteration and citation.
The Convent of Pleasure Margaret Cavendish ' s two folio volumes of dramatic
writings , Playes ( 1662 ) and Plays , Never Before Printed ( 1668 ) , which
contains The Convent of Pleasure , did not appear in any subsequent editions .
Author: John Fletcher
Publisher: Manchester University Press
This is a groundbreaking edition of three seventeenth-century plays that all engage in diverse and exciting ways with questions of gender and performance. The collection makes the texts of three much-discussed plays--John Fletcher's "The Wild-Goose Chase," James Shirley's "The Bird in a Cage," and Margaret Cavendish's "The Convent of Pleasure"--available together in a full scholarly edition for the first time.
Convents and Pleasures: Margaret Cavendish and the Drama of Property JULIE
CRAWFORD convent (n.) ... Never Before Printed, Margaret (Lucas) Cavendish
wrote a play entitled The Convent of Pleasure.1 The title of the play is seemingly
Author: Jeffrey Masten
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Renaissance Drama, an annual and interdisciplinary publication, is devoted to drama and performance as a central feature of Renaissance culture. The essays in each volume explore traditional canons of drama, the significance of performance (broadly construed) to early modern culture, and the impact of new forms of interpretation on the study of Renaissance plays, theatre, and performance.
Seventeenth-century English writers produced a number of texts that featured nuns and convents.
Author: Nicole Stark
Seventeenth-century English writers produced a number of texts that featured nuns and convents. However, in a country that had been unwaveringly Protestant since 1558, why the preoccupation with a female figure that belonged to a religion long established as part of England’s past? In this thesis, I attempt to answer this question by examining one of the most intriguing and novel representations of the convent: Margaret Cavendish’s 1668 play The Convent of Pleasure. Previous writers in the period created sensational fabrications regarding the sexual and material excesses of nuns, and often with an eye to denigrating Catholic women and the church as a whole. Cavendish instead offered a secular convent that inverted many of these claims, turning nuns’ supposed indulgences into celebratory means of enriching women’s lives.
This new edition, designed for classroom use, provides an ample introduction to Cavendish and her work, a carefully modernized text, with helpful glosses and notes, and a useful bibliography with references for further reading.
Author: Margaret Cavendish
When Margaret Cavendish published her first collection of dramatic work in 1662, she was keenly aware that none of her comedies or tragedies was unlikely to be acted, at least in her lifetime--but that did not deter her. "To those that do delight in scenes and wit / I dedicate my book," she writes at the beginning of the volume entitled, simply, "Plays." As for the hard reality that her plays were not to be produced? She has an answer for that as well: "For all the time my plays a-making were, / My brain the stage, my thoughts were acting there." "The Female Academy," the last play in her 1662 collection, opens with a fait accompli-a group of "old matrons" has established an educational institution devoted exclusively to the education of young women, "a house wherein a company of young ladies are instructed . . . to speak wittily and rationally, . . . to behave themselves handsomely, and to live virtuously." In this play, Cavendish presents the Female Academy as an institution created by women, inhabited solely by women, and operated for the benefit of women. The play also allows us to see the reactions of men, excluded from the Female Academy. Instead of ignoring the school, or wishing its young pupils well in their educational pursuits, men can't stay away-they hang around and spy on what's going on through "a large open grate" that allows them to hear the lectures being given inside. The play alternates scenes between the young women inside the Female Academy and the increasingly frustrated men in the outside world. This new edition, designed for classroom use, provides an ample introduction to Cavendish and her work, a carefully modernized text, with helpful glosses and notes, and a useful bibliography with references for further reading.
"Chaucerian women have long been the subject of scholarly fascination.
Author: Michelle E. Danner
"Chaucerian women have long been the subject of scholarly fascination. However, while some of Chaucer's principle women have been the subject of a wide variety of scholarly perspectives, others have received less consideration, being locked into the same examinations of certain themes and critical viewpoints. Chaucer's tragic romantic heroine, Criseyde, is rarely considered in terms of agency and influence. Her literary reputation as the epitome of bad lovers cripples her potential as an active figure in charge of her own fate. However, when examined outside of generic expectations, Criseyde's situation and the reasoning behind her maneuvers and decisions becomes clearer, and, thus, she may be viewed as less culpable. The game of chess, with its emphasis on learnable skills and effective strategy, illuminates more of the nuance that Chaucer included Criseyde's action in the tragic poem. When read through the lens of chess strategy--where chess represents not only romantic courtship but more importantly violent war--Criseyde's trajectory can be better understood as active and invested in her own survival and, more importantly, devoted to a cause entirely different than love. Criseyde is then freed from the negative stereotypes of women's agency achieved only through their duplicitous cunning. Chess, as a game accessible to both men and women, thus presents a new avenue then for examining agency in medieval women, both in literature and in medieval culture and society. AND Modern readers occasionally find it difficult to accept that the ending of Margaret Cavendish's drama, The Convent of Pleasure, is indeed a "happy" one. The female-only convent that Lady Happy operated throughout the play is suddenly dissolved, given to a nearby fool, and the fates of the convent's residents are left entirely unknown. Most disturbingly, Lady Happy, who was vocal and passionate throughout the play, turns suddenly quiet and stilted upon marriage. This sudden return to patriarchy and the heteronormative status-quo can seem understandably shocking or upsetting to modern readers. What seems to have not been noted, however, is that Cavendish leaves numerous hints to this exact return to patriarchal ideals. Lady Happy's convent exists as both a private convent and a domestic household; early modern English societies had specific expectations about both of those social spaces, and resistance to those expectations could lead to intense personal and communal anxieties. Such tensions threaten personal livelihood and social stability and therefore must be resolved by the end of the play to prevent upheaval and ultimately chaos. Cavendish can only restore order by returning all of the spaces involved to the status-quo. To do so, she must convert the Convent into an acceptable domestic household, subject to patriarchal norms through the introduction of masculine performance."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.
Margaret Cavendish , The Convent of Pleasure Happy Retreat ! which will be the
introducing you into such a Paradise as your Mother Eve forfeited , where you
shall feast on Pleasures , that do not like those of the World , disappoint your ...
Author: Nicole Pohl
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
The first full-length study of women's utopian spatial imagination in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, this book explores the sophisticated correlation between identity and social space. The investigation is driven by conceptual questions and thus seeks to link theoretical debates about space, gender and utopianism to historiographic debates about the (gendered) social production of space. Specific attention is given to spaces that feature widely in contemporary utopian imagination: Arcadia, the palace, the convent, the harem and the country house.
CHAPTER 2 SELF AND OTHER: IDENTITY AND RELATIONALITY ... all the
delight a parent can take in a childe is Hony mingled wth gall ...1 Margaret
Cavendish's closet drama The Convent of Pleasure (1668), a fantastical comedy
about the ...
Author: Ulrike Tancke
Early modern women writers are typically studied as voices from the margin, who engage in a counter-discourse to patriarchy and whose identities prefigure postmodern notions of fragmented selfhood. Studying a variety of literary forms – autobiographical writings, diaries, mothers' advice books, poetry and drama – this innovative book approaches early modern women's strategies of identity formation from an alternative angle: their self-writings should be understood as attempts to establish a coherent, stable and convincing subjectivity in spite of the constraints they encountered. While the authors acknowledge contradiction and ambiguity, they consistently strive to compromise and achieve balance. Drawing on social and cultural history, feminist theory, psychoanalysis and the study of discourses, the close reading of the women's texts and other, literary and non-literary sources reveals that the female writers seek to reconcile the affective, corporeal, social, economic and ideological dimensions of their identities and thereby question both the modern idea of the unified self and its postmodern, fragmented variant. The women's identities as writers, mothers, spouses, household members and economic agents testify to their acceptance of contradictions, their adherence to patriarchal norms and simultaneous self-assertion. Their pragmatic stances suggest that their simultaneous confidence and anxiety should be taken seriously, as tentative, precarious, yet ultimately workable and convincing expressions of identity.
The Convent of Pleasure. The Convent of Pleasure and Other Plays.E d. Anne
Shaver. Baltimore: JohnsH opkinsU P, 1999. 217–48.P rint. Cavendish, Margaret.
The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing-World. London, 1668. Print.
Author: Joel Faflak
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
The Public Intellectual and the Culture of Hope brings together a number of winners of the Polanyi Prize in Literature – a group whose research constitutes a diversity of methodological approaches to the study of culture – to examine the rich but often troubled association between the concepts of the public, the intellectual (both the person and the condition), culture, and hope. The contributors probe the influence of intellectual life on the public sphere by reflecting on, analyzing, and re-imagining social and cultural identity. The Public Intellectual and the Culture of Hope reflects on the challenging and often vexed work of intellectualism within the public sphere by exploring how cultural materials – from foundational Enlightenment writings to contemporary, populist media spectacles – frame intellectual debates within the clear and ever-present gaze of the public writ large. These serve to illuminate how past cultures can shed light on present and future issues, as well as how current debates can reframe our approaches to older subjects.