Lady Mary Wortley Montagu was a brilliant essayist and poet whose husband was the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. She was also a feminist, a fashion innovator who did much to introduce Ottoman dress to western Europe and an advocate for public health - she introduced smallpox inoculation to Britain and the West, having learned of the practice from Turkish women while her husband was stationed in Constantinople.
Lady Mary Wortley Montague and son (detail) 1717, by Jean-Baptiste van Moor. Lady Mary was instrumental in the popularization and the interest in the ways of the Orient. In 1716 when Edward Wortley Montagu was appointed Ambassador to Constantinopole his wife Mary went withy him. The story of their voyage and her observations of life in the city was described in her letters which were published as "Letters from Turkey".