Inside the Seraglio: Private Lives of the Sultans in Istanbul

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Penguin, 2000 - History - 360 pages
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.

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Contents

The House of Osman i
1
pages 11 27 34 54 70 81 93 96 101 107 127 131 135 137 145
11
Mehmet the Conqueror
14
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

John Freely was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 26, 1926. During World War II, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy. He studied physics at Iona College and New York University and did thermonuclear research at the Forrestal Research Center, Princeton University. In 1960, he took a post teaching theoretical physics at Robert College, Istanbul. He wrote numerous books during his lifetime including Strolling Through Istanbul written with Hilary Sumner-Boyd, Jem Sultan, Storm on Horseback, The Grand Turk, Aladdin's Lamp, Light from the East, and Before Galileo. He died on April 20, 2017 at the age of 90.

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