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

A Hymn To The Moon

Written in July, in an arbour

Thou silver deity of secret night,
Direct my footsteps through the woodland shade;
Thou conscious witness of unknown delight,
The Lover's guardian, and the Muse's aid!
By thy pale beams I solitary rove,
To thee my tender grief confide;
Serenely sweet you gild the silent grove,
My friend, my goddess, and my guide.
E'en thee, fair queen, from thy amazing height,
The charms of young Endymion drew;
Veil'd with the mantle of concealing night;
With all thy greatness and thy coldness too.

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