The Letters of Mrs Elizabeth Montagu: With Some of the Letters of her Correspondents by Elizabeth Montagu
This four-volume edition of the letters of Mrs Elizabeth Montagu (1718-1800), the 'Queen of the Bluestockings', was edited by her nephew and adopted son Matthew (1762-1831) and published in 1809-13. The daughter of wealthy parents, and well educated in history and languages, at the age of twenty-one she married Edward Montagu, a grandson of the earl of Sandwich whose income derived from northern estates and coal mines, and began to establish a London salon attended by the intellectual cream of British society, including Johnson, Burke, Garrick, Hannah More and Hester Chapone. The letters (and some correspondence from her circle) are arranged chronologically. Volume 1 begins with a short biography, and covers the period from her earliest preserved letter, written in 1732, up to 1741. Her teenage letters to her sister Sarah and her older friend, the duchess of Portland, sparkle with wit and good humour.