Abstract

In “The Poetresses Hasty Resolution,” a prefatory poem to Margaret Cavendish’s (c. 1623–1673) first published collection, Poems and Fancies (London, 1653), the writer makes an excuse for having rushed her hastily written pieces into print. This is one of several prefaces scattered throughout Cavendish’s works that draws attention to the topic of time. Whereas the existing criticism has interpreted Cavendish’s apologies as indicative of her immediate circumstances of publication and her troubled desire for fame, this essay argues that Cavendish employs a conventional appeal to the audience’s good will for a strategic purpose: to challenge the emphasis placed on care and deliberation in humanist rhetoric and poetics.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0383
Print ISSN
0039-3738
Pages
pp. 547-570
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-03
Open Access
No
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