Book Review: Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton

Book review

Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton

Catapult, 2016

Oh, what a surprise I discovered when I opened up this book. Such a slim novel can be deceptive; yes, Margaret the First is a fast read but readers will be left with a swirling paradise of thoughts, emotions and impressions after reaching the end.

This is all about Margaret Cavendish, a duchess who was the first woman in England to dare to write for publication rather than some soggy byproduct of bored days.

Along the way, readers peek into her marriage, her life, the disruptions she suffered due to various events, and her own disruptive activities that both made her more famous (much like Lady Gaga) and made her the focus of ire.

Of course, simply daring to write, burdened as she was with the disorder of having been born female, was disruptive enough. These various disruptions are mirrored in a prose style that is staccato and brief yet never slim with the impact.

Go out and get a copy of this novel right now. You can’t miss this one if you care one bit about quality prose, about women, or about the history of literature and the impact it can have on society.

For insight–and more than a few laughs–about literature and the writing industry today, including where women and other underrepresented voices stand, grab a copy of Writing While Female or Black or Gay. 

Or, if your tastes purely desire fiction, find another strong female protagonist in Beloved: A Sensual Noir Thriller. 

5 stars!

I received a copy from the publisher in order to write this review.

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