This volume takes us behind the doors of Topkapi Sarayi and the other palaces of the Ottoman sultans who for more than six centuries ruled one of the world's most powerful empires. The heart of the palace was the Harem, the women's quarters, ruled by the Valide, or Queen Mother. Here the Sultan took his ease surrounded by his wives and concubines with their guardian black eunuchs, amused by his favourite pages, dwarfs and mutes, his younger brothers either slaughtered upon his accession or confined to the prison of the Cage. Earlier sultans like Mehmet the Conqueror and Suleyman the Magnificent lied in Topkapi Sarayi only between their campaigns of conquest, but their weak and dissolute successors such as Selim the Sot and Ibrahim the Mad spent their reigns entirely in the Harem, where some of them died of over-indulgence or were brutally murdered. such were the private lives of the |Ottoman sultans in the pleasure dome known as the House of Felicity. Described here with attention to every extraordinary detail and wit, and illustrated throughout with images of this sequestered court, is the history and life of this remarkable palace in all its colour and opulence, and the story of its influence on a great empire.
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John Freely has written dozens of books about Turkey and Istanbul, and is certainly well qualified to provide an account of the goings-on inside the seraglios of the old Ottoman emperors. His earlier Istanbul: The Imperial City is a fascinating guide to the splendours of the city, and Inside the Seraglio is a fitting pendant to that book. Scores of sumptuous illustrations, along with extensive selections from contemporary sources, give a rich sense of the "House of Felicity", the Topkapi Sarayi, in which generations of emperors indulged themselves. As the Court Poet to Ahmet III (The Tulip King) put it: "let us laugh, let us play, let us enjoy the delights of the world to the full."
This is a sensual and often beautiful study that paints a vivid portrait of Oriental living. But there is a problem--it is now nearly 20 years since Edward Said wrote Orientalism, his devastating attack on the Western tendency to see the East as a repository of sensual indulgence and weak-minded decadence. This is not, as Said says the East, this is a biased version of the East, but it is this version that the reader is likely to take away from Freely (who doesn't mention Said in his bibliography). Read these two books side by side for an interesting sense of the dialogue about contemporary representations of the Orient. --Adam Roberts
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Book Description Penguin Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140270566
Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0140270566 New. Looks like an interesting title! We provide domestic tracking upon request, provide personalized customer service and want you to have a great experience purchasing from us. 100% satisfaction guaranteed and thank you for your consideration. Bookseller Inventory # M-0140270566
Book Description Penguin Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140270566
Book Description Penguin Books, 2001. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Ahmet III (1703-30) was the 23rd sultan of the imperial Osmanli dynasty. His predecessors had created the vast Ottoman empire, but by the time of Ahmet's reign, the empire was in decline, and the sultans spent most of their time in Istanbul's fabled pleasure palace, Topkapi Sarayi-known to the Turks as the House of Felicity. In this fascinating work, John Freely explores the decadent world within the palace walls and exposes most of the later sultans as weak, some as insane, and many as dominated by their wives or mothers. Freely describes the imperial harem, black eunuch guards, and the other people who served and amused the sultans-and sometimes imprisoned and murdered them. Witty, detailed, and illustrated throughout, this book is an opulent pleasure. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0140270566
Book Description Penguin Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140270566