Margaret the First

Danielle Dutton

“I, Margaret—Queen of the Tree-people—discovered an invisible world.”

– Margaret the First

Science fiction fan, feminist playwright, hater of Descartes — Margaret Cavendish could easily be the undergrad next door, not a 17th century Duchess. Obscured up til now by the sands of time and (spoiler alert) the patriarchy, Cavendish and her work are resurrected in Danielle Dutton’s novel Margaret the First.  

Through a combination of intensive research and astounding imagination, Dutton brings life to the English author and visionary who penned volume after volume at a time when women dared not write under their own names. Written off as “Mad Madge” by her contemporaries and cited in Virginia Woolf’s seminal “A Room of One’s Own,” Cavendish’s literary prowess rivals the likes of Locke and Bacon. Poets and essayists, fans of Hilary Mantel, and those interested in the truly weird world of early modern medicine (Margaret was “treated” for infertility and other ailments for much of her adult life) will find much to love in this book, in which Mad Madge finally gets the shelf space she deserves.

You may purchase this book via Catapult.


About the Author

Danielle Dutton


Danielle Dutton is the founder of Dorothy: A Publishing Project, which has published many other Emily Books faves, including Barbara Comyns, Suzanne Scanlon, and Nell Zink. Her other books are Attempts At A Life and S P R A W L. She lives in St. Louis.
(photo: Sarah Schatz)

". . . I escaped to the yard, soothed myself in the branches of an oak tree, dangling over periwinkle, looking out for swifts. Sixteen, I reflected, biting into a stolen pie. By this time in her life, my sister Mary had been pregnant. Ovid had dedicated his life to poetry. Queen Elizabeth had seen a suitor beheaded. Romeo and Juliet were dead. Whereas I, Margaret Lucas, was nothing if not in health, no single true adventure to my name."

Margaret the First, Danielle Dutton