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Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary: Mary Astell and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Mary Astell and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu had a lot more in common than their names. They also had a record book full of firsts— the first English feminist, the founder of the first school with an all female board of governors, the first English female travel writer, the first woman published in the Spectator. Their passion for politics, commitment to justice, and strong friendship also connected them. Throughout their more than fifteen-year friendship, the women certainly influenced each other, and even the ends of their lives mirrored each other. Learn more about these incredible women on this episode, and check out the sources below to learn even more!

N.B. Unfortunately you need a subscription or an account through a university to access some of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography resources!


A Timeline of the English Civil War:

Mary Astell

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Mary Astell

Memoirs of several ladies of Great Britain, who have been celebrated for their writings or skill in the learned languages, arts and sciences by George Ballard

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Francesco Algarotti

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

The Letters of Lady M. W. Montagu, During the Embassy to Constantinople, 1716-18

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu by Isobel Grundy

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