Lady Margaret Cavendish, Sci-Fi Author of the 1600s

Nicholas C. Rossis

Born in 1623, Lady Margaret Cavendish was an outspoken aristocrat who traveled in circles of scientific thinkers and broke ground on proto-feminism, natural philosophy (the 17th-century term for science), and social politics. As far as I am concerned, however, she should always be remembered as one of the first science fiction authors. In her lifetime, she published 20 books; mostly poetry and essays. However, in 1666, she also published The Description of a New World Called the Blazing World.

The Description of a New World Called the Blazing World

The Description of a New World by Lady Margaret Cavendish | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books The frontispiece for A Description of a New World, Called: The Blazing World, published in 1666. (Photo: Public Domain via Atlas Obscura)

In her book, a woman is kidnapped by a lovesick merchant sailor, and forced to join him at sea. After a windstorm sends the ship north and kills the men, the woman walks through a portal at the…

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