Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
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Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (15 May 1689 – 21 August 1762) was an English aristocrat and writer. Montagu is today chiefly remembered for her letters, particularly her letters from Turkey, as wife to the British ambassador, which have been described by Billie Melman as “the very first example of a secular work by a woman about the Muslim Orient”.

Lady Mary Pierrepont was born in London on 15 May 15 1689; her baptism took place on 26 May at St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden. She was a daughter of Evelyn Pierrepont, 5th Earl of Kingston-upon-Hull, and his first wife, Lady Mary Fielding.

Her mother had three more children before dying in 1692. The children were raised by ... more »

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  • ''Life is too short for a long story.''
    Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762), British society figure, letter writer. Letter, July 19, 1759. Selected Letters, ed. Robert Halsband (1970).
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Best Poem of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

An Answer To A Love-Letter, In Verse

Is it to me this sad lamenting strain?
Are Heaven's choicest gifts bestow'd in vain?
A plenteous fortune and a beauteous bride,
Your love rewarded, and content your pride;
Yet, leaving her, 'tis me that you pursue,
Without one single charm -- but being new.
How vile is man! How I detest the ways
Of covert falsehood and designing praise!
As tasteless, easier happiness you slight,
Ruin your joy, and mischief your delight.
Why should poor pug (the mimic of your kind)
Wear a rough chain, and be to box confin'd?
Some cup, perhaps, he breaks, or tears ...

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