Using a wealth of contemporary Ottoman sources, this book recreates the social history of Istanbul, a huge, cosmopolitan metropolis and imperial capital of the Ottoman Empire. The authors capture the lives of those who lived in this vibrant, violent, luxurious and cosmopolitan city through intimate portraits.
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'The authors paint a vivid picture of the Ottoman capital, as seen through Ottoman eyes and as it appeared to foreign visitors down the ages. Every serious visitor to Istanbul should read this book.' Colin Imber
'An engaging work, full of Ottoman voices. The authors make the city come alive, showing its inhabitants as spectators and participants: gossiping, strolling, demonstrating, smoking, bathing, and even feeding the birds. They persuasively address historiographic assumptions from the seclusion of women to the supposed 'supine fatalism' of the masses.' Palmira Brummett, University of Tennessee
'In Ebru Boyar and Kate Fleet's A Social History of Ottoman Istanbul, the sights, sounds, and smells of the city staged alongside catastrophic events and royal pageantry provide a captivating and rewarding read.' G. Carole Woodal, H-Urban (h-net.org/~urban)
Using a wealth of contemporary Ottoman sources, this book recreates the social history of Istanbul, a huge, cosmopolitan metropolis and imperial capital of the Ottoman Empire. Seat of the Sultan and an opulent international emporium, Istanbul was also a city of violence shaken regularly by natural disasters and by the turmoil of sultanic politics and violent revolt. Its inhabitants, entertained by imperial festivities and cared for by the great pious foundations which touched every aspect of their lives, also amused themselves in the numerous pleasure gardens and the many public baths of the city. While the book is focused on Istanbul, it presents a broad picture of Ottoman society, how it was structured and how it developed and transformed across four centuries. As such, the book offers an exciting alternative to the more traditional histories of the Ottoman Empire.
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