Turkish Embassy Letters by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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Kazbek
Posts: 245
Joined: April 24th, 2019, 12:06 pm
Location: Maryland

Post by Kazbek » January 24th, 2020, 10:18 pm

Summary by Wikipedia: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (née Pierrepont; 1689 – 1762) was an English aristocrat, letter writer, and poet. Lady Mary is today chiefly remembered for her letters, particularly her letters from travels to the Ottoman Empire, as wife to the British ambassador to Turkey, which have been described by Billie Melman as "the very first example of a secular work by a woman about the Muslim Orient". In 1716, Lady Mary's husband Edward Wortley Montagu was appointed Ambassador at Constantinople. In August 1716, Lady Mary accompanied him to Vienna, and thence to Adrianople and Constantinople. He was recalled in 1717, but they remained at Constantinople until 1718. The story of this voyage and of her observations of Eastern life is told in Letters from Turkey, a series of lively letters full of graphic descriptions; Letters is often credited as being an inspiration for subsequent female travellers/writers, as well as for much Orientalist art. During her visit she was sincerely charmed by the beauty and hospitality of the Ottoman women she encountered, and she recorded her experiences in a Turkish bath.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Mary_Wortley_Montagu

Here the readers are supposed to connect the dots between Orientalist art and Turkish bath... So, when I couldn't find this in the catalog, I thought at first the search engine was broken. :D At under 100 pages, I would have recorded it myself, but I would personally prefer to hear it read by a woman. If there are no takers, I could BC it as a collaborative project. These letters can be found on pp. 54-162 of this 1884 edition:

https://archive.org/details/lettersofladymar00mont_0/page/54/mode/2up

Michael
P.S. I would swap the last two sentences of the description above for clarity: During her visit she was sincerely charmed by the beauty and hospitality of the Ottoman women she encountered, and she recorded her experiences in a Turkish bath. The Letters are often credited as being an inspiration for subsequent female travel writers, as well as for much Orientalist art.

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