Abstract

Abstract:

This article argues that Lady Mary Wroth’s The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania and Margaret Cavendish’s The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World engage in an unrecognized form of utopianism that is situated in women’s friendship. This utopianism departs from the traditional definition of utopia as an idealized geographical place and instead acts as a heuristic device for imagining alternatives to the present. As women’s friendships in these works blur binaries to imagine new categories, they enact a form of utopian thinking that offers new political and philosophical possibilities while remaining aware of their limitations. This article thus makes the case for Wroth’s unrecognized influence on Cavendish’s work as well as for a new understanding of early modern women’s friendship and utopianism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 441-461
Launched on MUSE
2021-02-23
Open Access
No
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