16 March 2016

Book Launch: Margaret the First: A Novel by Danielle Dutton


New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

A dramatisation of the life of Margaret Cavendish, the shy, gifted, and wildly unconventional 17th-century Duchess. The eccentric Margaret wrote and published volumes of poems, philosophy, feminist plays, and utopian science fiction at a time when “being a writer” was not an option open to women. As one of the Queen’s attendants and the daughter of prominent Royalists, she was exiled to France when King Charles I was overthrown. 

As the English Civil War raged on, Margaret met and married William Cavendish, who encouraged her writing and her desire for a career. After the War, her work earned her both fame and infamy in England: at the dawn of daily newspapers, she was “Mad Madge,” an original tabloid celebrity. Yet Margaret was also the first woman to be invited to the Royal Society of London—a mainstay of the Scientific Revolution—and the last for another two hundred years.

Margaret the First is very much a contemporary novel set in the past. Written with lucid precision and sharp cuts through narrative time, it is a gorgeous and wholly new approach to imagining the life of a historical woman.

"Danielle Dutton engagingly embellishes the life of Margaret the First, the infamous Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne." —Vanity Fair

“With refreshing and idiosyncratic style, Dutton portrays the inner turmoil and eccentric genius of an intellectual far ahead of her time.”—Jane Ciabattari, BBC.com

"Although 'Margaret the First' is set in 17th century London, it's not a traditional work of historical fiction. It is an experimental novel that, like the works of Jeanette Winterson, draws on language and style to tell the story... There is a restless ambition to [Danielle Dutton's] intellect." —Michele Filgate, The Los Angeles Times 

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About the Author

Danielle Dutton's fiction has appeared in magazines such as Harper's, BOMB, Fence, and Noon. She is the author of a collection of hybrid prose pieces, Attempts at a Life, which Daniel Handler in Entertainment Weekly called "indescribably beautiful," and an experimental novel, S P R A W L, a finalist for the Believer Book Award. In 2015, she wrote the texts for Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera, an artists' book with collages by Richard Kraft. In 2010, Dutton founded the small press Dorothy, a publishing project, named for her great aunt Dorothy Traver, a librarian who drove a bookmobile through the back hills of southern California. The press itself has been praised in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, and Dutton has been interviewed in the Paris Review, Kirkus, and elsewhere for her work promoting innovative women writers.

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