Published in 1763, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Travels are the only known eighteenth-century travelogue written and printed by an Englishwoman who had seen Asia, Africa, or the Ottoman Empire. Montagu, born Mary Pierrepont, was the firstborn child of Evelyn and Mary Pierrepont (Fielding). In 1690 her father became Earl of Kingston, and she became Lady Mary Her mother died in 1692. By the time Montagu was 12, she was writing poetry and calling herself an author; she soon taught herself Latin. In 1712 her father arranged her marriage with an Irish peer; in response, she eloped with Edward Wortley Montagu. He was connected to London literary and political circles, and the marriage supported Montagu’s writerly and civic aspirations.
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