18th century, Arts

Public and Private, Real and Fictional: The Rise of Women’s Letter-Writing in the Eighteenth Century

By Tess Somervell.During the eighteenth century, thanks to the establishment of the post office in 1660, a rise in literacy, and an ascendant ‘middle class’, letter-writing became an increasingly common pastime for men and women. The letter became a form both of private communication and of public expression, in which women were expected not only… Continue reading Public and Private, Real and Fictional: The Rise of Women’s Letter-Writing in the Eighteenth Century

18th century, Arts

Mary Montagu

By Ella Harris Lady Mary Montagu (1689-1762), court beauty, wife of the British Ambassador to Istanbul and prolific letter-writer, was the first major female travel writer of her time. She was a correspondent with Alexander Pope, knew and was disliked by Horace Walpole, and introduced the Turkish, then Ottoman, method of inoculation to Britain. Often… Continue reading Mary Montagu