The Blazing World

Margaret Cavendish was a female author in a time where most women used male names to write. The Blazing World is a work of fiction where the power is in the hands of one women ruling over numerous half-beast men. But more then that The Blazing World is a commentary on the continued monarchy in Britain and the importance of Britain being a Christian nation.

And thus the Empress, by art, and her own ingenuity, did not only convert the Blazing World to her own religion, but kept them in a constant belief, without enforcement or blood-shed; for she knew well, that belief was a thing not to be forced or pressed upon the people, but to be instilled into their minds by gentle persuasions; and after this manner she encouraged them also in all other duties and employments, for fear, though it makes people obey, yet does it not last so long, nor is it so sure a means to keep them to their duties, as love.

With the Empress changing the religion to one from her world, which we can presume is Christianity based on Cavendish’s life at the time, and having everything become even more utopian, Cavendish is showing her belief that to have a utopian society there needs to be a religion to hold the people together.

When the soul of the Empress viewed the King and Queen, she seemed to be in amaze, which the Duchess’s soul perceiving, asked the Empress how she liked the King, the Queen, and all the royal race? She answered, that in all the monarchs she had seen in that world, she had not found so much majesty and affability mixed so exactly together, that none did overshadow or eclipse the other; and as for the Queen, she said, that virtue sat triumphant in her face, and piety was dwelling in her heart, and that all the royal family seemed to be endued with a divine splendour: but when she had heard the King discourse, she believed, that Mercury and Apollo had been his celestial instructors; and my dear lord and husband, added the Duchess, has been his earthly governor.

Later in the book Cavendish goes to great lengths to point out how wonderful the absolute monarchy is and how happy its citizens are.

The opening poem to this story is written by Cavendish’s husband and compares Cavendish to Columbus, giving the impression that you can adventure with fiction, in fact the whole story is about how fiction can help those who are under someone else’s yoke be free to rule over their own imagined world.

However, Cavendish while a figure for early feminist movements still holds the views that one power, one religion is the solution to the problems society faces. Which is understandable given Cavendish’s role in society at that time.

My project was inspired by Cavendish’s poem about the brain being a garden and The Blazing World. It matters because fiction is a way to express yourself and how other people interpret or relate to that fiction contributes to how the fiction lives on past the death of an author. The water has a ship for the colonization of other realms, a crown for the monarchy and a cross for the church. It is a garden being watered by colonization. One ring to rule them all refers to Sauron in Lord of the Rings and the quest for world domination.

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