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MONTAGU, Lady Mary Wortley.

The Letters and Works.

Edited by Her Great Grandson Lord Wharncliffe. In Three Volumes.

London: Richard Bentley, 1837 Stock Code: 146138
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John Fielden's copy

First edition of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's works and letters as edited by her great-grandson, in a handsome contemporary binding.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) was a friend of Alexander Pope and John Gay, but is best remembered as "one of the most important women writers between Aphra Behn and Jane Austen, and one of her period's most provocative and entertaining writers of either sex" (Clarendon Press). In 1716 she moved to Turkey with her husband who had been appointed ambassador to Constantinople. She took a keen interest in Islamic culture, evident from her correspondence, and even translated some Turkish verse. Herself a victim of small-pox, she became, on her return to London, a campaigner for the practice of inoculation, which she observed in Turkey. Montagu continued writing verse, some of which appeared in magazines, but the majority of which remained unpublished.

This copy bears the book labels of the Manchester factory owner, Chartist and radical MP John Fielden (1784-1849), author of the influential pamphlet The Curse of the Factory System (1836) which surveyed the harshness of factory conditions and child labour therein at the time, and which gained its author the sobriquet of "Honest John" Fielden and made him something of a hero of the northern working classes, although his peers in parliament were less enthusiastic.

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3 volumes, tall octavo (220 x 135 mm). Contemporary blue half morocco, titles in gilt direct to spines, decorative tooling to compartments in gilt, boards ruled in gilt, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt, purple silk page markers.


5 engraved plates, including frontispieces.


Extremities discreetly furbished, spines sunned, occasional light foxing to contents; an attractive set.


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