This book comprises a series of imaginary letters written to Lady Mary Montague, whose famous “Embassy Letters”were written in 1716-1718 during her stay in Turkey as the wife of the English ambassador. Those letters from Turkey, written to friends in England, served to describe the many fascinating aspects of the daily life she encountered while in Turkey.
In the same vein, Branning’s letters use themes dear to Lady Mary, such as culture, art, religion, women and daily life, to reflect on those same topics as encountered during the author’s past 30 years of travel in Turkey. In these letters are found heartfelt impressions and observations of the Turkish character, identity and daily life, as seen and appreciated by a modern Western traveler, much as Lady Mary did almost 300 years previously.
Although addressed to Lady Mary, Branning’s “letters to Turkey” are destined to be read by our contemporary society, as an insight on how many noteworthy characteristics of “the Orient”, which have been blurred for various reasons in the Western eyes, have inspired a deep admiration for an outside observer.