Lady Mary Wortley Montagu: Poems

Important works

A number of Lady Mary's poems were printed in her lifetime, either without or with her permission or connivance: in newspapers, in miscellanies, and independently.[3]

Her poetry was included in Anthony Hammond’s “New Miscellany of Original Poems, Translations and Imitations, by the most Eminent Hands” (1720). Verses Address'd to the Imitator of Horace, The Reasons that Induced Dr Swift to Write a Poem call'd the ‘Lady's Dressing Room’, and the Answer to the Foregoing Elegy. London Magazine printed a number of her poems.[3]

In 1737 and 1738 she published anonymously a political periodical called the Nonsense of Common-Sense, supporting the Robert Walpole government (the title was a reference to a journal of the liberal opposition entitled Common Sense). She wrote Six Town Eclogues, with some other Poems (1747). She was included in Dodsley's Collection of Poems. She wrote notable letters describing her travels through Europe; these appeared after her death in three volumes from Becket and De Hondt. During the twentieth century Lady Mary's letters were edited separately from her essays, poems, and play, and from her longer fictions.[3]

She wrote a series of poems about society's unjust treatment of women. She had notable correspondence with Anne Wortley and wrote courting letters to her future husband Edward Wortley Montagu, as well as love letters to Francesco Algarotti. She wrote letters berating the vagaries of fashionable people to her sister.[3]

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