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Elizabeth Montagu (née Robinson) (1718-1800), Writer and leader of society

Sitter in 11 portraits
Elizabeth Montagu was a Shakespeare critic and salon hostess, patron of the arts, literary critic, and writer. She was christened 'Queen of the Blues' by the writer Samuel Johnson, in recognition of her role in bringing together a constellation of contemporary intellectuals. Her parents were both from wealthy families with strong ties to the British peerage and intellectual life. She married Edward Montagu, a wealthy man with extensive holdings in coal, to become one of the richest women of her era. Montagu devoted this wealth to fostering and promoting English and Scottish aspiring authors, and to the relief of the poor.