The Blazing World

The Blazing World

The Blazing World

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The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World, better known as The Blazing World, is a 1666 work of prose fiction by English writer Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle.

As its full title suggests, Blazing World is a fanciful depiction of a satirical, utopian kingdom in another world (with different stars in the sky) that can be reached via the North Pole. It is "the only known work of utopian fiction by a woman in the 17th century, as well as one of the earliest examples of what we now call 'science fiction' — although it is also a romance, an adventure story, and even autobiography."Steven H. Propp, Utopia on the 6th Floor: Work, Death, and Taxes — Part 2, Bloomington, IN, iUniverse, 2004; p. 383.

A young woman from our world enters this other world, becomes the empress of a society composed of various species of talking animals, and organizes an invasion back into our world complete with submarines towed by the "fish men" and the dropping of "fire stones" by the "bird men" to confound the enemies of her homeland (apparently England).

The work was republished in 1668 with Cavendish's Observations upon Experimental Philosophy and thus functioned as an imaginative component to what was otherwise a reasoned endeavour in 17th century science.

Cavendish's book inspired a notable sonnet by her husband, William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which celebrates her...
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