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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World, better known as The Blazing World, is a 1666 work of prose fiction by English writer Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle.

As its full title suggests, Blazing World is a fanciful depiction of a satirical, utopian kingdom in another world (with different stars in the sky) that can be reached via the North Pole.

A young woman from our world enters this other world, becomes the empress of a society composed of various species of talking animals, and organizes an invasion back into our world complete with submarines towed by the "fish men" and the dropping of "fire stones" by the "bird men" to confound the enemies of her homeland (apparently England).

The work was republished in 1668 with Cavendish's Observations upon Experimental Philosophy and thus functioned as an imaginative component to what was otherwise a reasoned endeavour in 17th century science.

Cavendish's book inspired a notable sonnet by her husband, William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which celebrates her imaginative powers. The sonnet was included in her book.


In Alan Moore's graphic novels chronicling the adventures of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the Blazing World was identified as the self-same idyllic realm from which the extra-dimensional traveller Christian, a member of the first League led by Duke Prospero, had come in the late 1680s. The league disbanded when Christian returned to this realm, and it was where Prospero, Caliban and Ariel also departed to many years later.

In China Miéville's Un Lun Dun, a library book entitled A London Guide for the Blazing Worlders is mentioned, suggesting that travel between the two worlds is not all one-way.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Submarine" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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