Mary Wortley Montagu
Publisher: Penguin Books
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu introduced smallpox inoculation to England, was attacked in satires by her literary rival, Alexander Pope, and ran off to Venice with a young Italian lover. Throughout her life she recorded almost every aspect of her intriguing existence in letters about love, politics, science, gossip, literature, and more, displaying different aspects of her personality to her many correspondents. Although they were designed for publication, her Embassy Letters from Constantinople, where her husband was ambassador, are vividly personal. Equally revealing are several letters which have never before appeared in print, including one full of chamber-pot humor, and another that describes men as “vile Inconstant Toads”. With examples from every type of correspondence, Isobel Grundy presents a superb selection of direct and vigorous letters that convey Lady Montagu's passion, wit, and originality.
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