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A very modern woman in Constantinople

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Surrey, UK
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A very modern woman in Constantinople

A great article about one of my favourite historical figures, Lady Mary Wortley Montague. She discovered and fell in love with this incredible city slightly before we all did - in 1717 in fact....

todayszaman.com/news-254710-defying-conventi…

Cincinnati, Ohio
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1. Re: A very modern woman in Constantinople

GTTD, what a well-written article about someone I only have heard a little bit about previously. Thanks for the link.

Do you have any suggestions for the best biography I should tackle regarding this lady?

Surrey, UK
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2. Re: A very modern woman in Constantinople

If you are specifically interested in her writings while in Turkey, have a look at amazon.com/Turkish-Embassy-Letters-Wortley-M…

She was an amazing lady. Her last words were "Well..... it has been most interesting."

Surrey, UK
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3. Re: A very modern woman in Constantinople

For those interested in the history of the interest in Constantinople by British aristocrats (a recent exhibition at the Pera Museum), the Hellfire Club stands out as an infamous organisation - started by Lord Dashwood (after the Divan Club). Only one woman ever infiltrated this - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

It was said "Lady Mary was a strong-willed individualist who was not content with the polite life of a married lady. She travelled extensively on the Continent without an escort and was rumoured to have infiltrated the Sultan's harem in Constantinople, where she discovered the secret of the smallpox vaccine."

istanbul
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4. Re: A very modern woman in Constantinople

GTTD, thanks for bringing her up. Interesting that the article appears in a paper which believes in a secondary role for women in society. Maybe Ms. Mantagu infiltrated the ownership of that paper in a more recent reincarnation.

There is an Evliya Celebi translation (excerpts from his ten volume travelogue) which is interesting if also read in conjunction with European traveler histories to the region. It is difficult to find in the United States where I have reviewed it for Amazon USA, but may be easier to get a hold of in the UK.

I have also reviewed a Penguin History atlas for Amazon USA, hoping that travelers to Eastern Europe and Turkey will have a look at it in addition to their guide books. I would find it very useful when reading the adventures and biographies of these worthy men and women we can never compete against in terms of curiosity and daring and desire to live the life of their choosing.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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5. Re: A very modern woman in Constantinople

Thanks, GTTD. I struck paydirt with the local county library system, which has both bios and various volumes of her letters. I have put the Turkish embassy letters book on hold and look forward to reading them. (I am trying to cut down on book purchases because Mr. Military History fills our house monthly with purchases from his History Book Club.)

6. Re: A very modern woman in Constantinople

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