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Alexander Pope and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu were both born in the year of the Glorious Revolution, 1688-89. Divided by family circumstance and political allegiance, they have been coupled by literary history. Pope was a Catholic linen merchant's son, born in the City of London, who had to make his own fortune in the literary marketplace by means of such ventures as translating Homer's Iliad and Odyssey into English for a distinguished list of wealthy subscribers, who paid in installments to receive their multi-volumed sets over several years. Pope earned about £5000 each from these translations, or, at a “conservative estimate,” the equivalent in today's money of about £100,000 from each. Lady Mary Pierrepont, daughter of the Earl (later Duke) of Kingston, married in 1712 a fellow Whig, Edward Wortley Montagu, who would soon become ambassador to Constantinople. “A strong sense of propriety led her, as a woman and an aristocrat, not to publish any of her writings under her own name.” Pope was a Tory with Jacobite leanings; Montagu supported Sir Robert Walpole.
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