"What a vision of loneliness and riot the thought of Margaret Cavendish brings to mind!" Virginia Woolf wrote in A Room of One's Own. Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was a groundbreaking woman writer--a utopian visionary, a scientist, a science-fiction pioneer. She interacted with Thomas Hobbes and Rene Descartes. And she produced startlingly modern poems unlike anything else published in the seventeenth century for their mixture of scientific and proto-Blakean vision, their deep sympathy with the non-human world, and their feminist passion.