Her Scientific EndeavorsMargaret Cavendish loved not only literature, but science and the nature of life as well. During the time before the restoration, she received informal lessons in science from both her husband and her brother-in-law, Charles. Both men were at the coenter of a group of "atomists" philosophers including René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes and Walter Charleton. As a result, Margaret was exposed to their philosophies, and she was often found openly disagreeing with them. Yet, Margaret did not start writing about anything overly scientific until 1652. Her scientific beliefs are ones of the world being a unified, cooperative system, in which dissention causes illness, earthquakes, and death. Margaret also believed that atoms were closely related to health, and this could be what stemmed her scientific interest in medecine. Margaret often treated herself for her ailments, and this self-doctoring may have led to her sudden death. Margaret is well known in the scientific world, not only for her many contributions to the field, but also for being the first woman to visit the Royal Society in London. The Royal Society was an institution and forum for scientific experiments and essays to be presented to and by its members. Naturally, it was an all-male society, making Margaret's visit especially unique. It would be 300 years before another woman would be unvited to attend a Royal Society meeting. While she may have been called an oddity or a curiosity for her love of science, Magaret's atomic theory has been said to be a small but extremely valuable part of the history of science. By sharing her love of science with the people of her time, Margaret not only became the first female natural philosopher, but she also opened the door for the many more to come.
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