'I shall be a thousand different Marys and, in such manner, shall find the one I wish to be...'

An illuminating and beautiful novel which gives a voice to the unjustly forgotten yet extraordinary life of pioneering poet and feminist, Mary Wortley Montagu.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu longs for adventure, freedom and love, believing that only by truly living can she ever escape a stalking fear of death...

An aristocratic woman in 18th century England is expected to act in certain ways. But Mary has never let society's expectations stifle her: she writes celebrated poetry and articles advocating equality. Her correspondence with her mant powerful friends is dazzling, and often leads her into trouble. 

Mary wants more from the world. Using her charm and connections, she helps her husband be apponted as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Travelling to Constantinople, Mary finally discovers the autonomous life she dreams of. And when she observes Turkish women 'engrafting' children against smallpox, she resolves to bring the miracle of inoculation back to England.

Despite this, Mary's reputation becomes increasingly tainted. Her inability to abide by the rules, her outspoken opinions on women's rights, and her search for love and desire at all costs gains her powerful enemies. While Mary tries to ensure her name will live on by arranging the publication of her diaries after her death, her own daughter works against her, afraid of what they might contain...

About Sean Lusk

Sean Lusk’s debut, The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley was a BBC2 Between the Covers pick, a Sunday Times Historical Fiction Book of the Month, and longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize and the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award. He is also an award-winning short story writer, winner of the Manchester Fiction Prize and the Fish Short Story Prize. He has lived in Greece, Pakistan and Egypt and now lives in the Scottish Highlands.