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Paper Bodies: A Margaret Cavendish Reader (Broadview Literary Texts)


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Margaret Cavendish was one of the most subversive and entertaining writers of the seventeenth century. She invented new genres, challenged gender roles, and critiqued the new science as well as the mores of society. “Paper Bodies” was the wonderful phrase she used to described her manuscripts, which she hoped would continue to make “a great Blazing Light” after her death. There are connections here to Cavendish’s most famous work, The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World (1666), a unique tale of a woman travelling through the north pole to a strange new world.

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  • Bowerbank, S. and S. Mendelson, eds. 2000. ‘Introduction’. In Paper Bodies: A Margaret Cavendish Reader, 11–28. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview.
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    When you print out your paper doll body, you have a few options. You can use a variety of colored cardstock, print out the desired templates on magnet sheets , or even use printer sticker sheets . Color in your doll body and make facial and other features using crayon, markers, or whatever method you prefer. You can use yarn or embroidery floss for hair or even make wigs using felt scraps. Another idea is to make paper dolls that look like you and your friends by using photos. If you use cardstock or regular paper, you might want to glue your paper doll onto a lightweight cardboard base to make it sturdier. To protect your finished dolls, you can it or cover it with clear contact paper.

    Paper Bodies gathers together important and representative selections from the poetry, fiction, prefaces, and letters of Margaret Cavendish. The book also sets the work in context by printing extracts from Francis Bacon, Mary Evelyn, and Aphra Behn. Cavendish scholars will be very pleased by the appearance of this highly useful collection.” — James Fitzmaurice, Northern Arizona University