Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on July 28, 2014
The Blazing World is a utopian fiction written by Margret Cavendish in 1666. Margret Cavendish was an English noble woman who was also a philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction-writer, and playwright in the 1600s. The Blazing World is a one of the first works of fiction to be consider science-fiction. The Blazing World is also known for being the only work of utopian fiction by a woman during the 17th century.
In the The Blazing World a young woman is shipwrecked on the North Pole and is met by race of bear men who take to kingdom which she calls the blazing world. Throughout the story the young women describes what the kingdom looks like and many of the ideas of the people which live in the kingdom’s utopian society. The ideas which are expressed by the inhabitants of The Blazing World are similar to those of forward thinking people of the 17th century; such ideas include, discussions on new scientific discovers and theological questionings.
I read The Blazing World during a literature class during my undergraduate studies as an engineering student. As engineering student taking a literature class I was not as interested in the course material as many other people. I can safely say that The Blazing World is not an easy work of literature that someone can just breeze through and understand. This fact did hinder my enjoyment of the book and I probably would recommend. There are a few small things that made reading difficult. The first of these and the most obvious is the old English writing which can get irritating occasionally. Many of the words are spelled phonetically and not the common way today which require you to reading things occasionally. Another aspect of The Blazing World I did not enjoy was that although it was consider science-fiction story there are no real story elements driving you through a vast majority of it. Unless you are already interested in the subject matter being discussed is very hard to read through.
Many people talked about The Blazing World being a great progressive feminist work, but I did not really see this. Other than the fact that main protagonist is female. Cavendish does not really talk about women too much throughout the first part of The Blazing World. She more just talks about a utopian society where a woman happens to be the leader. If you are looking a great piece on feminist ideology this really is the book that you are looking for. This view this story as Cavendish expressing her views of which of the many ideas floating around in her 17th century she agreed with could be beneficial to a utopian society.
In short The Blazing World by Margret Cavendish is of pretty significant social and historical importance. However I would not recommend buying this book unless you are invested greatly in the history of women writing utopian works. The old English prose makes the story harder to read and less enjoyable. There is also not much plot to help levitate the denseness of the material. If you are looking a great work displaying feminist ideology there are better things out there.
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