In the summer of 1716, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu undertook a long journey across Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean to accompany her husband to Constantinople. Here, the Whig politician Edward had been appointed ambassador extraordinary of George I to Sultan Ahmet III and representative of the Levant Company to the Sublime Porte. Living for almost two years in the Ottoman Empire offered the English gentlewoman the possibility not only to appreciate the customs and mores of the local people, but also to realize how false and groundless were many of the ideas she had heard about the Turks. For this reason, in the well-known "Embassy Letters" she posted to relatives and friends during her Turkish sojourn, she discredited the authors of those travel accounts, who failed to tell the truth but conveyed what was partial and erroneous, and continually emphasised the authenticity of her experience. In this essay, through representative extracts of her epistolary narrative, I will try to show how Lady Montagu systematically debunked the stereotyped image of the Orient that her male predecessors had instrumentally propagated in early modern England.

Baratta, L. (2013). Embassy to Constantinople: the image of the Orient and the de-construction of the Canon in Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Turkish Letters. In I. Both, A. Saraçgil, A. Tarantino (a cura di), Storia, identità e canoni letterari (pp. 19-36). Firenze : Firenze University Press [10.36253/978-88-6655-417-2].

Embassy to Constantinople: the image of the Orient and the de-construction of the Canon in Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Turkish Letters

Baratta, Luca
2013-01-01

Abstract

In the summer of 1716, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu undertook a long journey across Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean to accompany her husband to Constantinople. Here, the Whig politician Edward had been appointed ambassador extraordinary of George I to Sultan Ahmet III and representative of the Levant Company to the Sublime Porte. Living for almost two years in the Ottoman Empire offered the English gentlewoman the possibility not only to appreciate the customs and mores of the local people, but also to realize how false and groundless were many of the ideas she had heard about the Turks. For this reason, in the well-known "Embassy Letters" she posted to relatives and friends during her Turkish sojourn, she discredited the authors of those travel accounts, who failed to tell the truth but conveyed what was partial and erroneous, and continually emphasised the authenticity of her experience. In this essay, through representative extracts of her epistolary narrative, I will try to show how Lady Montagu systematically debunked the stereotyped image of the Orient that her male predecessors had instrumentally propagated in early modern England.
978-88-6655-417-2
Baratta, L. (2013). Embassy to Constantinople: the image of the Orient and the de-construction of the Canon in Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Turkish Letters. In I. Both, A. Saraçgil, A. Tarantino (a cura di), Storia, identità e canoni letterari (pp. 19-36). Firenze : Firenze University Press [10.36253/978-88-6655-417-2].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11365/1218894