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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Listings for Author:  

Mary Wortley Montagu


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Mary Wortley Montagu : [Letters]

'Weeton's reading becomes important in communication with friends, but also a point of conflict: when she visits her brother and his wife, they complain that she spends all her time reading, though she insists that she read very little ("only... Gil Blas, now and then a newspaper, two or three of Lady M. W. Montagu's letters, and few pages in a magazine'), and only because her hosts rose so late. Since her literacy is important as a sign of status, she repeatedly presents herself not as a reader of low status texts like novels but of travels, education works, memoirs and letters, including Boswell's "Tour of the Hebrides", the Travels of Mungo Park, and Mme de Genlis' work. She approves some novels, like Hamilton's "The Cottagers of Glenburnie", but generally finds them a "dangerous, facinating kind of amusement" which "destroy all relish for useful, instructive studies'.

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Ellen Weeton      Print: Book


Lady Mary Wortley Montagu : Letters

'"In reading Lady Mary W Montagu's letters, whi[ch] we have had lately, I continually felt a want - I had not the least affection for her" D[orothy] W[ordsworth] to Lady Beaumont, 11 April 1805).'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Dorothy Wordsworth      


Lady Mary Wortley Montagu : Letters

Henry James to Thomas Sergeant Perry, from home of host family in Bonn, Sunday 5 August 1860: "[on Wednesday morning] I sat down to read [in the study] till our room should be made ready for me to go in and set to work. I looked over an old volume of the 'British Chronicle,' a lot of bound weekly newspapers of the time of Byron, Shelley, Tom Moore and Walter Scott and which I had discovered in a corner the night before. Then I finished the Letters of Lady M. W. Montague which I had commenced a few days before from curiosity and had continued from interest."

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Henry James      Print: Book


Lady Mary Wortley Montague : Letters

Elizabeth Barrrett to Lady Margaret Cocks, 29 September 1837: 'I confess to you that I utterly dislike Lady Mary! [...] She had a hard shining imagination, instead of a heart -- and words studied into carelessness, beating up & down, where warm natural woman pulses ought to have beat. She had too little depth for manhood, -- & too little softness for womanhood. Take away the corner stone & the top stone from Horace Walpole's imagination -- or rather, take away what poetry he had -- & dress him up in a hoop -- & there is Lady Mary Wortley Montague ready for court!! ---- I never could bear her -- or Horace Walpole either -- and whenever I have looked at her letters, I have felt too much out of humour to be amused.' '

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Elizabeth Barrett      Print: Book


Lady Mary Wortley Montagu : Turkish Embassy Letters

[Catherine Talbot to Elizabeth Carter, 14 May 1763:] 'Some of [Carlo Maggi's] prose is delightful. Pray do not read the death of Adam. It is extremely fine, but so painful, that at first it gives one's thoughts a wrong turn -- one cannot get it out of one's head; yet if one thinks it thoroughly over, one may get a great deal of good out of it. We shall have a very different one after supper, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Letters. They are very amusing for that half hour, and I dare say genuine. Mrs Montagu whom I saw a few days ago, first told me of them.'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Catherine Talbot and family     Print: Book


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