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O Mundo Resplandecente

2.94  ·  Rating details ·  589 ratings  ·  90 reviews
A Plutão Livros volta à proposta de publicar obras desconhecidas pelo público com a primeira edição brasileira de um clássico fundacional da ficção científica.

Nessa história de 1666, a autora explora um mundo alegórico e satírico acessado por um portal mágico no Polo Norte. Diante de seres bizarros que ainda não entendem o verdadeiro significado de ciência e filosofia, Mar
ebook, 180 pages
Published June 19th 2019 by Plutão Livros (first published 1666)
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2.94  · 
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 ·  589 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Heather Jones
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of various works touted as “the first science fiction novel” (especially in contexts where people are pointing out the strong influence of female authors in the early development of science fictional concepts). The full title is The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World, first published in 1666, but with an expanded version (as discussed below) published in 1668.

In brief: a young woman is abducted by a would-be suitor but the ship carrying them is blown off course to t
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as the first of a trio of books. Her most well known fiction to get me started, followed up by a biography and yet to be concluded with some historical fiction of her life. Margaret Cavendish was a fascinating woman and as a prominent female of the time, we know quite a lot about her life and still have her work to read today. Yet, until recently I'd never heard of her.

This story is bizarre, sometimes boring, but equally blazing. Before reading, I suggest a little research about her
Here's the thing about Restoration era literature--it's steeped in contemporary references. I took a Restoration literature class in undergrad, and found most of the material boring and quite difficult to get through. It required a lot of research just to understand conversations and plot.

I had forgotten about this when I picked up The Blazing World, instead expecting something a little more exciting. The first science fiction written by a woman? A feminist Utopian? Sign me up!

That's not quite w
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
More like 2.5 stars.

This is a fascinating read, but only for those that are really interested in the origins of science fiction and early women writers. Margaret Cavendish is a very early English writer that wrote this when it was not acceptable for women to write and publish books. I am not sure of a lot of the backstory behind this, but I'm hoping to be able to gleam some of that in the new book Margaret the First, which explores her life in a biographical historical fiction story. I picked t
A weird bit of philosophy and proto-sci-fi. Ignores the rules of any conventional story, features parallel worlds, astral-projection, submarines made of gold and many sorts of animal men including Lice-men. Best approached as a piece of philosophy rather than sci-fi but quite interesting.
Aug 18, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Before reading this, I truly thought there were no utopias in fiction because they all turn into dystopias somehow. I also thought nobody would write a utopia because how the heck do you write a world where all is perfect, and make it interesting?

Well look, Cavendish wrote one! Unsurprisingly it is downright boring.

Of course this is from a 21st century perspective; it's an achievement for a female of her age to be writing, there are all those new scientific thoughts coming out, blah blah, but fr
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I chose this on Serial Reader in an attempt to read more classics but I had to abandon it. If this is where science fiction started, thank goodness it changed and grew. It's an adventure/SciFi/fantasy story where literally nothing happens, they just sit around and talk about how they understand the universe. And of course the visitor to the species is welcomed and made the empress, so no conflict anywhere.
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm doing the first half of the Brit Lit survey this year, which gave me the excuse to finally make the time to read this. Oh man. It is totally bonkers and absolutely awesome. Like, what if you and your BFF could unite your souls in one body and run the world??
Looking forward to teaching it.
Laura Lam
This was fairly bonkers, but an interesting look into proto-science fiction with some heavy lashings of philosophical musings. Feminist for the seventeenth century, but a fair amount of casual colonialism. Is it a utopia? Also had the author self-insert as a Mary Sue, and then it was surprisingly queer.
This is a very unusual book in that it is a very early science fiction/fantasy novel written by an usual woman, Margeret the Duchess of Newcastle. It is an amalgam of discussions, action, description of the world and all its creatures in a unique way.
I would rate it 2 and a half stars, since there is a lot of interesting description but it has a feeble plot.
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-sf
Ahem: "Written By the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and Excellent PRINCESSE, THE Duchess of Newcastle."

It is about a lady who becomes the all-powerful Empress of a parallel world connected to earth via the North Pole. It is a strange and great thing to exist in the world. I could go on about how it is a really excellent way to understand European conceptions of gender, power, colonialism, and otherness in the mid-17th century, but instead:

"The rest of the Inhabitants of that World, were men of seve
André Caniato
The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World, or simply The Blazing World, is considered one of the earliest examples of science fiction in history, so of course I had to include it in my 2017 sci-fi journey—more out of curiosity than actual hope of enjoying the experience. Considering it's a 1666 autobiographic, quasi-nonsensical story, I admit it's way less boring than I thought it would be—though it is quite boring. Its importance to science fiction and even women's writing is not ...more
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book almost as much as I love reading about the author. It's sort of like reading Alice in Wonderland only Alice is really an eccentric, science loving Dutchess.
Jessica Maginity
So weird and I love it.
Lady Duchess Empress Margaret Cavendish, this "Blazing World" of yours fascinates and enchants, yet perplexes and frustrates me.

'The Blazing World', the first science fiction novel written by a woman. Arguable the first science fiction novel period, brought to us in 1666.

I am mixed and betwixt about it: it is fifty or so pages, yet the writing is very dense, the small print not helping; the writing itself is terrible - complicated grammar with no editing, the beginning has no plot and is all te
Feb 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I read this book for two reasons. Firstly, Siri Hustvedt's book of the same name references both the book and its author and that piqued my interest. Secondly, it only cost £0.99 to buy a copy for my Kindle. What did I have to lose? It turns out that the answer is "two hours of my life that I can't now get back".

I guess a lot of it is because of the intervening 350 years (the book was published in 1666), but there was nothing in this story that held any interest for me other than perhaps its his
I'm writing this review mainly to justify my rating. And by that I mean to myself. A lot of my reviews are reminders to myself of what I got out of the book, because sadly such is my memory these days that I'll forget a lot quickly.

This is a fascinating book. It was written by a woman in 1668 and it would appear to be one of the earliest "science fiction" novels. That in itself was what persuaded me to read it.

About a third of the way through however I was all set to rate this two stars. I had
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

To all Noble and Worthy Ladies.
This present Description of a New World, was made as an Appendix to my Observations upon Experimental Philosophy; and, having some Sympathy and Coherence with each other, were joyned together as Two several Worlds, at their Two Poles. But, by reason most Ladies take no delight in Philosophical Arguments, I separated some from the mentioned Observations, and caused them to go out by themselves, that I might express my Res
Nicholas Whyte
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unread, 2014, sf, 1406[return][return]For all the primacy of Frankenstein, I reckon this must be one of the earliest known sf books by a woman, at least in English. The Duchess of Newcastle was a well-known eccentric of Restoration England - Samuel Pepys has several awestruck entries in his diary about simply wanting to look at her in astonishment, including her visit to the Royal Society - and wrote various pieces including this exploration of politics, science, religion and ...more
Nathan Dehoff
Published in 1666, I believe this is one of the first parallel world stories, detailing the adventures of a woman who is kidnapped and taken to the North Pole, then transported to an alternate world with incredibly bright stars and inhabitants who are part animal and part human. It's also famous for being written by a woman, and Cavendish writes herself into the narrative as the protagonist's transcriber. As promising as the premise is, it's a rather disjointed and rambling yarn, with a lot of i ...more
For a ground-breaking classic (first utopian text by a woman, afaik), this is actually pretty shapeless. There is no plot or characterization to speak of (not necessarily a major requirement of the form, but still), nor does Cavendish seem really to be interested in articulating a coherent political model. Instead, her main interest seems to be in satirizing some intellectual controversies of her day, so to understand this at all one needs extensive knowledge of various scientific theories of th ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book will probably seem strange to someone who does not know the context - at least some biographical details about the Duchess of Newcastle and the XVII century England.
Margaret Cavendish was a unique women, ahead of her times in many ways. For example, she published under her own name, which was unusual in XVII century.
"The Blazing World" is sometimes called the first example of science fiction.
I would say that it includes elements of utopia, fantasy, SF, and also autobiographical detai
A somewhat interesting read, more as a curiosity than anything else for this proto-science fiction/fantasy novella written in 1666. However, the prose was was particularly dull and tedious.
Ashley McNally
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
How one review a book like this is a fairly difficult thing, really. Is it a good book? Well, going by the standards of modern science fiction, it really isn't; Margaret Cavendish is certainly no Ann Leckie, but perhaps that's using the wrong metric. If one can argue that, say, Asimov didn't write as well as Alastair Reynolds because the art of telling a story has evolved over the decades, then one should consider the same argument in defense of Cavendish. The Blazing World was published in 1666 ...more
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An odd read. It helps to understand that this was first published attached to a non-fiction work of hers, Observations on Experimental Philosophy. The same title could have been given to The Blazing World as well, since much of the story is either an illustration of, commentary on, or satire of various classical and modern philosophical concepts. Before reading, I would recommend brushing up on your Hobbes, Machievelli, Descartes, Plato, Epicurus, Thales, Pythagoras, and Aristotle - all of whose ...more
Just A. Bean
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this book is very much of its time, which is interesting in an of itself because the form of the novel hadn't really hit England, let alone been codified, and the author has this huge amount of space to do whatever she wants.

Granted, whatever she wants is more or less long sections of complaining about the Royal Society (a Tradition Swift would pick up and run with), and attempting cosmology, which was theoretically interesting, but did tend to drag on. Also there are very few full stops, few
Grace Harwood
Jun 11, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this book; but I suspect that this was because it was just not for me rather than it being a comment on the quality of the writing/the book itself. Indeed, the quality of the writing is excellent and I can't agree with Virginia Woolf's description of Cavendish as a "cucumber" who crowded out all the roses from the garden (Woolf really didn't like Cavendish's writing). I was initially quite charmed by the opening sections; the foolish man who stole the nobleman's daughter and spirit ...more
Anna Sojourning
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
"To all Noble and Worthy Ladies,"

Firstly, I must admit that I struggle to understand the English which was spoken in the era "The Blazing Word" was written in, (1666) so there was much content I missed. I would love to read a commentary on it sometime.

The overall story is a fascinating tale about a young woman who travels to an alternate dimension and becomes the empress of this entire new world, "The Blazing World," so named after the stars which shine at night nearly as brightly as the sun. Sh
Justin Evans
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I was very surprised to learn that many people believe Cavendish's work can be summarized, and that you don't need to read it, because the ideas are all that matters. The ideas aren't all that interesting, despite various editors and commentators' attempts to make her a feminist icon or whatever (n.b.: if you're really into the history of philosophy and science in the 17th century, you might well find it interesting to work out where Cavendish sits in the various debates of the period; suffice t ...more
Matt Sautman
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that is definitely for a niche readership. Ever since I encountered the Blazing World in the somewhat bizarre League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, I have wanted to read this book so I could somewhat better understand the Black Dossier's final moments. I do feel that Moore's decision to utilize this as a final destination in that graphic novel is a somewhat esoteric choice. Cavendish, while an imaginative, pioneering woman in philosophy, creates a text that can be some ...more
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Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, was the youngest child of a wealthy Essex family. At the age of 20 she became Maid of Honour to Queen Henrietta Maria and traveled with her into Persian exile in 1644. There she married William Cavendish, Marquis (later Duke) of Newcastle.

Between 1653 and 1668 she published many books on a wide variety of subjects, including many stories that are no
“For Nature is so full of variety, that our weak Senses cannot perceive all the various sorts of her Creatures; neither is there any one object perceptible by all our Senses, no more then several objects are by one sense.” 3 likes
“I had rather die in the adventure of noble achievements, than live in obscure and sluggish security.” 3 likes
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