Margaret Cavendish: Philosophical and Physical Opinions

Frontispiece featuring Margaret Cavendish depicted as a classical statue, title "Natures Pictures Drawn"

Margaret Cavendish: Philosophical and Physical Opinions (1663)

A Digital Edition

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Marcy Lascano
Professor, Department of Philosophy University of Kansas

KU Libraries

KU Philosophy Department

The Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities

Digital Edition


Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673) wrote numerous works of philosophy, plays, and poetry, as well as a science fiction work, an autobiography and a biography of her husband. While many of her works are available online, her 1663 edition of Philosophical and Physical Opinions has not yet had an open access and easily searchable edition until now. The work is important in that is it a substantial revision of her 1655 edition of Philosophical and Physical Opinions. The 1655 edition was a mere 174 pages, while the revised and expanded 1663 edition comes in at 510 pages including the unpaginated prefaces and index.Given the growing interest in Cavendish’s philosophical works by early modern scholars, it seemed it was time to make this work more widely available. It was clear that we needed to hand transcribe the work, but its length was too much for a small group to undertake. Thus, we decided to get help from the community by hosting a transcribe-a-thon on September 27, 2019. With support from KU Institute for Research in the Digital Humanities, KU Libraries, and the KU Philosophy Department, as well as over 70 transcribers from around the world, the text was completely transcribed by October 4th, 2019.

This project was supported by IDRH through a course grant and the technical expertise of Brian Rosenblum who created the transcription site and the the Ed. site (the site includes information on the technical process written by Brian).