Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) is 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. The narratives in this volume, with the exception of one juvenile piece, have never been printed before. They show the author experimenting with the genres of fiction and autobiography, more influenced by French models than by English, but always working experimentally
against the grain of her various traditions. Besides page-turning narrative, these works offer the rare opportunity of a completely fresh take on literary movements, cross-cultural relations, gender
ideologies, and other literary debates of the early eighteenth century. Our existing picture of what was once possible in literature and what was possible for women at this time cannot remain unchanged once these writings appear.