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The Turkish Embassy Letters [Paperback]

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu , Anita Desai
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

27 Jan 1994

The critical and biographical introduction tells of Lady Wortley Montagu's travels through Europe to Turkey in 1716, where her husband had been appointed Ambassador. Her lively letters offer insights into the paradoxical freedoms conferred on Muslim women by the veil, the value of experimental work by Turkish doctors on inoculation, and the beauty of Arab poetry and culture.

The ability to study another culture according to its own values and to see herself through the eyes of others makes Lady Mary one of the most fascinating of early travel writers and commentators

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The Turkish Embassy Letters + The Beggar's Opera + Gulliver's Travels (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (27 Jan 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853816795
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853816796
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Her letters have an immediacy and vivacity that remains as fresh as the mosiacs on the ancient monuments she saw and the eastern gardens that gave her such delight. (Anita Desai)

Book Description

Lady Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) was described by a contemporary, as 'one of the most extraordary shining characters in the world...'. Her newly edited letters tell of her travels through Europe to Turkey in 1716.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars This book was not really for me 15 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for a literature tutorial but travel books are really not my thing, didn't really enjoy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book 23 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read about this in a magazine, was intrigued and bought it. Very interesting book full of details about Lady M's travels, trials and tribulations.Who knew that inoculations were available in 1700?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not A Turkish Delight! 26 Oct 2012
By dands
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading about it in a book review magazine, (it was on the "summer reading" list of one of the reviewers). I think the title misleads in that only a small proportion of the letters were actually from Turkey, and those are extremely interesting. The rest were written on the journey to and from that country, and are a bit of a curate's egg. There are indeed a few enlightening and informative passages, but I felt many merely served as a vehicle for the opinions and prejudices of the writer, whilst offering little to hold a modern reader's attention. The introduction to the book was far too long winded, but then if that had been edited of its padding, and you discount the copious notes and indexes at the end, (necessary in the academic world I'm sure, but boring and pointless for the casual reader), then what is left are slim pickings indeed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely reading 17 Feb 2011
In these days of so much bad press concerning the clothing traditions of other cultures, it is a breath of fresh air to read Lady Wortley's take on cultural differences. She has great respect for the cultures she writes about, but still manages to criticize aspects of those cultures in a truly amusing way.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable talent 5 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The great shame about MWM,s letters is that so many were destroyed by her family a trully great letter writer and remarkable talent her humanity just shines through the World needs more like her. Although there are a few books that cover MWM the best way to learn about her is through her own writing dont pass this one by!
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