Portrait miniature of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle

Margaret Cavendish Quotes

In Nature, we have as clear an understanding as men, if we were bred in Schools to Mature our Brains.

We are become like worms, that only live in the dull earth of ignorance, winding our selves sometimes out by the help of some refreshing rain of good education, which seldom is given us, for we are kept like birds in cages, to hop up and down in our houses, not suffered to fly abroad, to see the several changes of fortune, and the various humors, ordained and created by nature, and wanting the experience of nature, we must needs want the understanding and knowledge, and so consequently prudence, and invention of men.
Philosophical and Physical Opinions (1655)

[P]oor education, exclusion from public institutions, political subordination within the home, physiological dictates of childbirth, and society's pervasive vision of women as incompetent, irresponsible, unintelligent, and irrational.
Philosophical and Physical Opinions (1655)

[W]e are shut out of all power and authority, by reason we are never employed either in civil or martial affairs, our counsels are despised, and laughed at, the best of our actions are trodden down with scorn, by the over-weening conceit, men have of themselves, and through a despisement of us.
Philosophical and Physical Opinions (1655)

[T]here is little difference between man and beast, but what ambition and glory makes.
Philosophical and Physical Opinions (1655)

Poetry, which is built upon Fancy, Women may claim as a worke belonging most properly to themselves: for I have observ'd, that their Braines work usually in a Fantasticall motion.
"To all Noble, and Worthy Ladies", Poems and Fancies (1653)

[Poetry] is the finest work that Nature hath made...playing so well upon the Brain as it strikes the strings of heart with delight.
"To all Noble, and Worthy Ladies", Poems and Fancies (1653)

Women's Tongues are as sharp as two-edged Swords, and wound as much, when they are anger'd.
"To all Noble, and Worthy Ladies", Poems and Fancies (1653)

[The] Reason why I write in Verse, is, because I thought Errours might better passe there, then in Prose, since Poets write most Fiction, and fiction is not given for Truth, but Pastime.
Poems and Fancies (1653)

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