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The Blazing World

Margaret Cavendish


A young lady is abducted by sea and finds herself transported into a new world where the blazing stars make night as bright as day. She marries the world’s Emperor, becoming Empress, and through consultation with many creatures and immaterial spirits she elaborates on contemporary scientific and philosophical topics.

The story presents the view that a society with a unified language and religion can be made orderly under the rule of a benevolent monarch. Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle, plays her own part in the story by providing advice and showing the Empress around her own world.

The Blazing World was written in 1666, a few years after the restoration of the British monarchy. With its fantastic setting, the book is considered an early forerunner of the science fiction genre.

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