Public, social, or private?
The lecture will address the notions of the public, the social and the private in the works of the seventeenth-century natural philosopher and writer Margaret Cavendish.
This engraving of the Duchess of Newcastle is in The Lives of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, and of his Wife, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle edited by Mark Anthony Lower, M.A. (1872). Accessed in the Digital Cavendish project.
Full title: Public, social, or private? Spheres of action in the work of Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673)
Despite being a woman Cavendish claimed a legitimate space as an intellectual in her time, not least through her many published books. For the purpose of the lecture Cecilia Rosengren focuses on her Orations of divers sorts, accommodated to diverse places (1662) in which political, moral and social issues are dealt with in the form of speeches held by women and men, rich and poor, rulers and citizens, soldiers and civilians, scholars and students and others. Rosengren hopes to show that the book not only reflects upon Cavendish's own experience of exile and can be read as a sort of analysis of the recent civil war, but also relates to early modern transformations of the public and private spheres.
Cecilia Rosengren is a senior lecturer in the history of ideas at the University of Gothenburg.