tue24aug6:30 pmFeaturedOnline Lecture: The Pioneering Life of Mary Wortley MontaguOnline lecture by Jo Willett6:30 pm Book Now

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£3 members/£5 non-members

300 years ago, in April 1721, a smallpox epidemic was raging in England. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu knew that she could save her 3-year-old daughter using the process of inoculation.  She had witnessed this at first hand in Turkey, while she was living there as the wife of the British ambassador. She also knew that by inoculating her only daughter  she would face opposition from doctors, politicians and clerics.  Her courageous action – making young Mary the first person protected in the West – eventually led to the eradication of smallpox and the prevention of millions of deaths. But Mary was more than a scientific campaigner. She mixed with the greatest politicians, writers, artists and thinkers of her day.  She was also an important early feminist, writing powerfully and provocatively about the position of women. This lecture follows Mary’s life through the buildings she lived in and knew, both in England and abroad, first during her trip to Turkey in 1718 and then in the twenty-three years she spent in mainland Europe in the 1740s, 50s and early 60s.
Jo Willett studied English at Queens’ College Cambridge and has an MA in Arts Policy from Birkbeck. She has been an award-winning TV drama and comedy producer all her working life and has recently embarked on a new career as a historical biographer. Her first book, The Pioneering Life of Mary Wortley Montagu, was published in 2021, receiving positive reviews in The Spectator and The Daily Telegraph.


The talks starts at 6.30pm. Joining details will be sent to attendees the day before.

Georgian Group members are eligible for a discount on their ticket by entering GGMEMBER at the checkout.

***This talk will be recorded. The recording will be available to all those who have purchased a ticket for a limited period of time after the event takes place***

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(Tuesday) 6:30 pm

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