Mary Wortley Montagu: Turkish Embassy Letters (2243 words)


Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s The Turkish Embassy Letters (1763) conjoins travel writing, memoir, and satire. In keeping with the great works of fictional travel writing of her day (Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels), Montagu took her actual impressions of Turkish culture and added a thin veneer of fiction, much of it “reflected in tranquility”, to borrow Wordsworth’s phrase. For unlike Defoe or Swift, Montagu actually traveled to Turkey in 1716 to accompany her husband, who had been newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary to the Court of Turkey. A prolific letter-writer, Montagu documented every stage of her trip, from a brief stay in Vienna to the torturous journey through …

Citation: Grasso, Joshua. "Turkish Embassy Letters". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 November 2017 [, accessed 28 October 2020.]

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