Margaret the First
Young Margaret desired to be more than she was and required more than the life she was given. Her idea to escape her monotonous life was to become a lady in waiting for the Queen. Suffering from loneliness she immediately regretted her decision. However, she found friendship in a parental relationship with an older couple, who eventually introduced Margaret to William Cavendish, playwright, poet, marquess, and her future husband. Several years older than Margaret, William also desired royalty ties, longing to maintain a position in the King’s court. Margaret felt isolated again, unable to conceive and living in the country turned her to writing her thoughts down igniting a passion for writing, bad spelling or not. She became published and gained the notoriety of which she always dreamed.
Danielle Dutton creatively re-imagined the life of Margaret Cavendish in a way that vividly portrayed the self-taught literary figure. Told in first person, Dutton provides an enlightening glimpse into the mind of Margaret Cavendish through Margaret the First, how she might have been. Although never achieving royal status, Margaret has come to the limelight in this concise but telling book. Dutton is a professor at Washington University, no doubt sharing stories of “Mad Madge” to her eager students.