We left Lady mary rolling her eyes as people found reason after reason to not immunize against smallpox. While she cared about people not contracting a deadly disease, what Mary really want to be was a writer. Those letters she wrote from the road? She edited them into a book that was the first to capture a woman’s perspective of the Ottoman Empire. It would not be published in her lifetime, she had other things to do…like garden, socialize, write more biting commentaries on political and court life, raise two kids, ditch her husband and run off with a n’er do well Count to Italy, tour Europe, then entwine her life with another unscrupulous noble.
After over 20 years of
living adventure abroad, Lady Mary’s sister, Lady Mar, and her own husband died… she realized that it was time to go home. She was able to reconnect with her daughter and see old friends but within the year Mary died on August 21, 1762, at 73, in London.
Her Letters From the Embassy was published without permission right after her death…it is still in print today.
TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS
Grandmama’s West Dean house that Mary thought was as modern as King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable.
Timeline of vaccines from History of Vaccines.org, an article from The Lancet about Mary bringing vaccines to the West, and two about our ol’ pal Edward Jenner, from the National Library of Medicine about our old pal
On the other side of the Atlantic: Learn more about Cotton Mather and Onesimus bringing inoculating against smallpox to the American Colonies.
On the other end of the classy spectrum: Puppet History did an episode on the history of smallpox. THIS LINK RIGHT HERE is not for kids. At all.
Martin Luther’s quote about the bubonic plague is widely quoted but misrepresented through omissions. Give a read-through here on Snopes.
Here’s a lovely bottle of vitriol on display at the Smithsonian.
The history of floriography, the language of flowers from ATLAS OBSCURA…heck, yeah, Mary started that in the west, too!
There aren’t any movies about Lady Mary (what?!) but if you’re a screenwriter, we politely point you to the 20 years of her life with the two younger scoundrels and her solo adventures through Europe. The high drama (with a touch of comedy) ends in a dramatic and poetic fashion with her death shortly after returning “home.” It’s an epic story of acceptance, curiosity, survival, and feminism playing out in stunningly picturesque 1700’s Europe. You’re welcome.