Margaret Lucas was born a daughter of a wealthy landowning, royalist family, and went to the court of King Charles I at Oxford in 1640 as a maid-of-honor to Queen Henrietta Maria. She followed the queen into exile in France during the English Civil War. In 1645, she married the courtier and author William Cavendish, future 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, as his second wife. During the Civil War, the couple lived in near-poverty in Paris and Antwerp, but returned to England and their estates after the Restoration of King Charles II. Margaret's eccentricities in dress and manner provoked some ridicule in fashionable society (she got the nickname "mad Madge"), and she persuaded her husband to retire from court. She wrote many works, including some early science fiction and her own autobiography, and published under her own name at a time when most female writers could only publish anonymously.