M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Education
Montagu; Mary Wortley; Lady; 1689-1762; Pope; Alexander; 1688-1744
In the London coffee houses on May 21, 1730, gathered the rakes and courtiers, statesmen and politicians, chandlers and hack writers, templars and post boys, who, for a small fee, mingled with one another, reading and discussing the latest innuendoes circulated by the London newspapers. On this particular Thursday, they were examining with gusto the Grub Street Journal, just off the press, in which was recorded another chapter of the argument between head-strong Lady Mary and the vindictive Mr. Pope. Many of these men, who relished the public exposures of a private feud, knew only what they pieced together by such means; moreover they were content with such information, since what could not be proved afforded more opportunities for conjecture and amusement. Two hundred years later, speculations concerning the cause of the quarrel between these two eminent figures still continue, although one can now see the entire history of their relationship in retrospect. Contemporary curiosity, nevertheless, with its gossip and key words that are lost today, with its heated arguments and sharpened quills, created a more exciting, if less accurate, dilemma. When this Inquisitive group of Londoners scanned the pages of Journals for new retaliations between Lady Mary and Pope, they probably did not realize that these two antagonists had been acquainted for fifteen years, because in 1750, the quarrels were just beginning.
Johnson, Corinne, "The embittered misalliance : a study of the relationship between Alexander Pope and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu" (1953). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 5731.
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