Cavendish, Margaret, Duchess Of Newcastle

(1623-1673)
   Her father (Sir Thomas Lucas) supported Charles I during the Civil War, and in 1644 Margaret was forced into exile in France as Queen Henrietta's maid of honor; she married Sir William Cavendish in 1645 as his second wife. After the Restoration he was created 1st Duke of Newcastle in 1665. Her first volume of poetry, Poems and Fancies, published in 1653, made her a literary celebrity. She went on to publish more poetry, plays, romances, biographies, and a biography of her husband. She was criticized for being a woman writer and for her outlandish, sometimes masculine, clothes. A monument was erected to the Duke and Duchess in the North Transept of Westminster Abbey. The opening lines of "The Ruine of this Island" have a prophetic ring: that England will rue the day when She becomes too proud to pray. Some of her other poems: "Nature's Cook," "Of Cold Winds," "Of the Theme of Love," "The Claspe," "The Common Fate of Books," "The Fort or Castle of Hope," "The Pastime of the Queen of Fairies," "The Soul's Garment."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition, 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www. lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Penguin Book of Renaissance Verse 1509-1659. David Norbrook, ed. Penguin Books, 1992. Westminster Abbey Official Guide (no date).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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