Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
(1689 - 1762)
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu lived in Turkey during her husband’s two-year ambassadorial stint. In the 1720s she introduced and popularized an early form of smallpox inoculation known as variolation, wherein someone is exposed to the substance from the pustules of an infected person, inducing a weaker strain of the disease (variola minor). Some called Montagu the most colorful Englishwoman of her time, and her fifty-two Turkish letters were published to wide acclaim in 1763, one year after her death.