Lady Mary Wortley Montagu | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 24 pages of analysis & critique of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.
This section contains 6,588 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Joseph Epstein

SOURCE: “Wise, Foolish, Enchanting Lady Mary,” in The New Criterion, Vol. 13, No. 5, January 1995, pp. 8-17.

In the essay below, Epstein offers a survey of Montagu's life and career.

Once, and but once, his heedless youth was bit, And liked that dangerous thing, a female wit. 

—Alexander Pope

“A passionate man,” said Stendhal, “is seldom witty.” Building on that aphorism, one might go on to say that a witty man is rarely handsome. A beautiful woman who, along with being witty, is also commonsensical is rarest of all. They do, however, turn up, perhaps every century or two. Such a woman was Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. She lived (1689-1762) in a cold and hard age, where beauty helped immensely, wit was a useful weapon, common sense a necessity, and only passion an embarrassment.

Lady Mary was born with every advantage, real and artificial, and a number of true disadvantages...

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This section contains 6,588 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Joseph Epstein
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Critical Essay by Joseph Epstein from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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