Letters by MONTAGU, Mary Wortley, Lady (1689-1762).

MONTAGU, Mary Wortley, Lady (1689-1762).

Letters of the Right Honourable Lady M----y W----y M----e: written during her travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa, to persons of distinction, men of letters, &c. in different parts of Europe. Which contain among other curious relations, accounts of the policy and manners o the Turks; Drawn from Sources that have been inaccessible to other Travellers. A New Edition. To which are now first added, Poems, by the same Author. In two volumes. Vol. I [-II]. London, Cadell, 1784.

New Edition. Two volumes, 8vo, pp. ix, [i], [ii] Advertisement of the Editor, 220; [iv], 272, small piece torn from the margin of II, 33, in contemporary tree calf, gilt border to covers, flat spines elaborately gilt in compartments, red labels lettered in gilt and red oval numbering pieces set in green morocco labels, gilt, with the contemporary heraldic bookplates of Robert Hunter of Thurston and the later booklabel of Douglas Grant.

A very handsome copy of this scarce edition of Mary Wortley Montagu’s seminal travelogue, first published in 1763. The preface, by Mary Astell (1666-1731), was composed in 1724 for Montagu’s manuscript letters.
‘Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s husband was appointed ambassador to the Porte in 1716, and she accompanied him to Constantinople. During her sojourn in Turkey she recorded her observations and experiences in a journal (destroyed after her death) which provided material for her actual letters to her friends, of which only a few survive, and for the series of 52 letters which she composed a few years after her return to England. These are not actual letters, though headed and dated close to the dates of real letters. The form is partly fiction but provides the substance of her life abroad and her opinions on Turkish life and customs ‘ (Blackmer).

ESTC t66781; Rothschild 1452; Blackmer 1150.

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