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Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

(1689—1762) writer


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(1689–1762),

daughter of the fifth earl and first duke of Kingston, secretly married Edward Wortley Montagu in 1712, and accompanied him in 1716 when he went to Constantinople as ambassador. She wrote there her celebrated ‘Turkish Letters’ (1763), and introduced into England on her return in 1718 the practice of inoculation against smallpox, an illness from which she had suffered. For the next two decades she was a leading member of society, famed for her wit. In 1716 Curll piratically published some of her Town Eclogues and Court Poems. In 1737–8 she wrote an anonymous periodical, the Nonsense of Common‐Sense, and in 1739 left England and her husband to live abroad for nearly 23 years in France and Italy; during this period she wrote many letters (mostly to her daughter, Lady Bute), for which she is principally remembered. She is also known for her quarrels with Pope.

Subjects: Literature.


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