Montagu, Mary Wortley: Further Reading

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Grundy, Isobel. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, 680 p.

Considers Montagu's life as a series of struggles.

Halsband, Robert. The Life of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956, 313 p.

Offers a modern scholarly biography of Montagu.


Campbell, Jill. "Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Historical Machinery of Female Identity." In History, Gender and Eighteenth-Century Literature, edited by Beth Fowkes Tobin, pp. 64-85. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994.

Focuses on the Turkish Embassy Letters as a demonstration of Montagu's use of cultural difference to discuss feminine pleasure and desire.

Cooley, Emily. "Proto-Feminism and Ethnography in Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Turkish Embassy Letters." Publications of the Mississippi Philological Association (2002): 8-15.

Critiques Montagu as an amateur anthropologist, including her attitude toward the otherness of foreign cultures.

Darby, Barbara. "Love, Chance, and the Arranged Marriage: Lady Mary Rewrites Marivaux." Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research 9, no. 2 (winter 1994): 26-44.

Studies Montagu's comedy Simplicity in terms of her revisions to the original French play and the attitudes towards women reflected in those revisions.

Dobie, Madeleine. "Embodying Oriental Women: Representation and Voyeurism in Montesquieu, Montagu, and Ingres." Cincinnati Romance Review 13 (1994): 51-60.

Compares Montagu's depiction of Turkish women to Montesquieu's Lettres persanes and the paintings of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

Fernea, Elizabeth Warnock. "An Early Ethnographer of Middle Eastern Women: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762)." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 40, no. 4 (October 1981): 329-38.

Discusses Montagu's role as an ethnographer of the status of women in Middle Eastern life in her letters from Turkey.

Halsband, Robert. "'Condemned to Petticoats': Lady Mary Wortley Montagu as Feminist and Writer." In The Dress of Words: Essays on Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature in Honor of Richmond P. Bond, edited by Robert B. White, Jr., pp. 35-52. Lawrence: University of Kansas Libraries, 1978.

Surveys a variety of Montagu's works in terms of her feminism, addressing topics including marriage and divorce, politics, and the propriety of women's writing.

Lew, Joseph W. "Lady Mary's Portable Seraglio." Eighteenth-Century Studies 24, no. 4 (summer 1991): 432-50.

Studies the Turkish Embassy Letters as a critique of Ottoman and British culture, and as an anticipation of modern feminism.

Looser, Devoney. "Scolding Lady Mary Wortley Montagu? The Problematics of Sisterhood in Feminist Criticism." In Feminist Nightmares: Women at Odds: Feminism and the Problem of Sisterhood, edited by Susan Ostrov Weisser and Jennifer Fleischner, pp. 44-61. New York: New York University Press, 1994.

Questions critical attempts to describe Montagu as a feminist and apply her concerns to modern feminist issues.

Lowenthal, Cynthia. "The 'Spectatress': Satire and the Aristocrats." In Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Eighteenth-Century Familiar Letter, pp. 114-52. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994.

Suggests that Montagu's letters explore the intersections of class and gender, and public and private, emphasizing her satirical writings on the aristocracy.

Sherman, Sandra. "Instructing the 'Empire of Beauty': Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Politics of Female Rationality." South Atlantic Review 60, no. 4 (November 1995): 1-26.

Discusses those works by Montagu that are potentially antifeminist, including "A Satyr."

Snyder, Elizabeth. "Female Heroism and Legal Discourse in Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's 'Epistle from Mrs. Y[onge] to Her Husband." ELH 34, no. 4 (June 1997): 10-22.

Argues that Montagu subverts the legal term submission to create a powerful and authoritative female hero.

Spacks, Patricia Meyer. "Female Rhetorics." In The Private Self: Theory and Practice of Women's Autobiographical Writings, edited by Shari Benstock, pp. 177-91. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988.

Uses Montagu's correspondence as a basis for considering the conflict between the drive for self-expression and the social requirement for restraint.


Additional coverage of Montagu's life and career is contained in the following sources published by the Gale Group: Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vols. 95, 101; Literature Criticism from 1400-1800, Vols. 9, 57; Literature Resource Center; Poetry Criticism, Vol. 16; and Reference Guide to English Literature, Ed. 2.

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Montagu, Mary Wortley: Further Reading

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