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Saturday, 3 July 2010

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu: On Lord Lyttleton's 'Advice to a Lady'


The Marriage Contract

Be Plain in Dress and Sober in your Diet;
In short my Dearee, kiss me, and be quiet.

Shortly After the Marriage

File:Lady Mary Wortley Montagu with her son  Edward by Jean  Baptiste Vanmour.jpg

On Lord Lyttleton's 'Advice to a Lady': Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Lady Mary Wortley Montague (1689-1732), has been referred by one literary historian (Nicholas Sanders, Oxford Short History of English Literature) as "that great letter-writer, pioneer feminist and intellectual snob..."

Paintings by William Hogarth, from Marriage à-la-Mode, 1743-1745 (National Gallery, London):
The Marriage Contract
Shortly After the Marriage

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu with her son Edward Worthy Montagu, and attendants: Jean Baptise Vanmour, c. 1717 (National Portrait Gallery, London), image by Dcoetzee, 2009


Anonymous said...

The problem with contracts is they always have a termination clause.

I will always prefer Love.

Curtis Roberts said...

I read a critic's appreciative comment yesterday that the title of this poem was almost as long as the poem itself. I love this and the things I've learned about Lady Montagu.

TC said...

I'm sure Lady Mary would have been delighted by (and thought quite proper) having her wonderful little poetic riposte attended upon by an expert on contracts and an expert on love, two things I wager she too knew a bit about.