My work has often been as strongly at odds with the direction of women’s history, and later gender studies, as with traditional historical scholarship ... The excitement of first encountering both visual and literary images from past women remains one of the most important intellectual motivators for our scholarship in the field. And this excitement should include recreating the whole of that past. [But in] my current work on the gendered nature of seventeenth-century individualism and an intellectual biography of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, I have been consistently struck by the degree to which interceding years of historical scholarship have worked as much to obscure the realities of these subjects as to illuminate them.