Inside the Seraglio: private lives of the sultans in Istanbul

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Penguin, Jul 1, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 360 pages
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.

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The House of Osman i
Mehmet the Conqueror
The House of Felicity

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About the author (2001)

John Freely has written over thirty travel books and guides, most of them about Greece and Turkey. He is author of "Strolling Through Athens" (also Tauris Parke Paperbacks).

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