The Turkish Embassy Letters

The Turkish Embassy Letters : Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

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Description

In 1716, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's husband Edward Montagu was appointed British ambassador to the Sublime Porte of the Ottoman Empire. Despite discouragement from friends that feared for her safety, she accompanied her husband to Turkey and wrote an extraordinary series of letters that recorded her experiences as a traveller and her impressions of Ottoman culture and society. These letters, addressed primarily to her sister and to Alexander Pope, became the basis for a highly crafted text that was not published until 1763. Like many women who rebelled against gender conventions, Montagu was the target of vicious attacks from her contemporaries. But her status as a woman traveller is crucial to her distinctive perspective, and one can argue that her letters offer a feminist alternative to much of the orientalist writing of both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This edition includes a broad selection of related historical documents on Turkey, women in the Arab world, Islam, and "Oriental" tales written in Europe.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 300 pages
  • 140 x 214 x 20mm | 399.16g
  • Broadview Press Ltd
  • Peterborough, Canada
  • English
  • 1554810426
  • 9781554810420
  • 56,938

Review quote

"What a treat to see this indispensable and versatile text again available, lovingly edited by Teresa Heffernan and Daniel O'Quinn. They have followed the first edition, 1763 (illicitly published after a secret all-night copying session), while correcting their text from Montagu's own manuscript. Her idiosyncratic, open-minded, proto-feminist responses to Islamic civilization are more fascinating today than ever, and the context that the editors supply for them is simply the best yet." - Isobel Grundy, University of Alberta "Montagu's famous Letter-book has at last received the attention it has long deserved as an important piece of eighteenth-century travel literature. The lively introduction constructs the historical and literary context of the work, while an impressive set of appendices illustrates not just her world, but also that of her interlocutors and her contemporaries." - Virginia H. Aksan, McMaster University "In their superb Introduction to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's The Turkish Embassy Letters, Teresa Heffernan and Daniel O'Quinn write that "much like her letters, it is only more recently that her strategic and intelligent engagement with Ottoman culture is being mined." Their edition is a timely and compelling reminder of the reasons why we should pay attention to the writing of this remarkable woman. They have produced what will no doubt be the definitive teaching edition for years to come." - Suvir Kaul, University of Pennsylvaniashow more

Back cover copy

In 1716, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's husband Edward Montagu was appointed British ambassador to the Sublime Porte of the Ottoman Empire. Montagu accompanied her husband to Turkey and wrote an extraordinary series of letters that recorded her experiences as a traveller and her impressions of Ottoman culture and society. This Broadview edition includes a broad selection of related historical documents on Turkey, women in the Arab world, Islam, and "Oriental" tales written in Europe.show more

About Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Teresa Heffernan is Associate Professor of English at St. Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Daniel O'Quinn is Professor of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.show more
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