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Inside the Seraglio Private Lives of the Sultans in Istanbul

Freely, John

Verlag: Viking, London, 1999
ISBN 10: 0670878391 / ISBN 13: 9780670878390
Gebraucht / Hardcover / Anzahl: 1
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Titel: Inside the Seraglio Private Lives of the ...

Verlag: Viking, London

Erscheinungsdatum: 1999

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: Very Good

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good


Good to very good in dust jacket -clean copy -no markings; B&W and Colour Illustrations; 9.50 X 6.10 X 1.70 inches; 384 pages. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 46000

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Inhaltsangabe: This is the story of the House of Osman, the Imperial dynasty that ruled the Ottoman Empire for more than seven centuries. During the first four centuries of Ottoman rule, the Sultans lived in the great palace of Topkapi Sarayi, whose gardens and pavilions still grace the Acropolis Hill above the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. This was the setting of the pleasure dome in which the Sultans took their ease when they were not off on campaign, closed off from the outside world in the inner palace of Topkapi Sarayi, the Imperial residence known as Dar-Us Saadet, "the house of felicity". Full of detail and anecdotes, this book brings to life the fading memory of those who lived out their lives in fabled palaces, evoing evoking colourful times in which they lived.

Rezension: 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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