seventeenth-century female authors, Mary Evelyn, Margaret Cavendish
It is often noted by those who study seventeenth-century women writers that Mary Evelyn, wife to the famous diarist, pronounced Margaret Cavendish, duchess of Newcastle, "rambling as her books, aiming at science, difficulties, high notions, terminating commonly in nonsense, oaths, and obscenity." Such evidence is sometimes used to show that Margaret Cavendish deserved to be called "Mad Madge of Newcastle," an epithet that frequently made its way into biographical references to her in after ages. Nevertheless, it as easily might be the case Mary Evelyn was merely a little miffed with the attentions her husband, John, paid the not unattractive duchess. In 1667 when she made her comments, Mary Evelyn was merely a little miffed with the attentions her husband, John, paid the not unattractive duchess. In 1667 when she made her comments, Mary Evelyn also may have been just a trifle displeased with an atmosphere of teasing and wry poetic exchange that existed between John and other men. It was about this time John wrote comic verses describing a visit by Margaret Cavendish to the Royal Society, risqué verses designed to entertain his friend Sir Joseph Williamson. About twenty years earlier, Margaret's husband, William, had written risqué and even bawdy lines himself in conjunction with John and Mary Evelyn's wedding. The piece by William, as it turns out, is more than a pleasant excursus performed for the moment. Indeed, its author found it important enough to include it as the final poem in a handsome, scribally produced volume."
"The Cavendishes, the Evelyns, and Teasing in Verse and Prose,"
Quidditas: Vol. 16
, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/rmmra/vol16/iss1/8