THE PHILOSOPHER: Margaret Cavendish

Four hundred years ago, Margaret Cavendish dared to contemplate the biggest philosophical questions of her day. Brilliant and bold, she wrote 21 books despite being dismissed or mocked by the almost entirely male intellectual community. A famously eccentric dresser, she and her husband hosted high-society parties at their fantastical castle, but she was also paralyzed by bashfulness and dreaded talking to people. She hoped that her intellectual works would lead to eternal fame, but she …