Recovering the oft-neglected role of women in Ottoman high society and power politics, this book brings to life the women who made their mark in a male domain. Though historical records tend to favour the glitter of palaces over the trials of daily life, Goodwin also reconstructs ordinary women's domestic toil. As the Ottoman Empire first expanded and then shrank, women travelled its width and breadth whether out of necessity or merely for pleasure. Some women owned slaves while others suffered the misfortune of being enslaved. Goodwin examines the laws, which governed women's lives from the harem to the humblest tasks. This perceptive study of Ottoman life culminates with the nineteenth century and explores the advent of modernity and its impact on women at a time of imperial decline.
Godfrey Goodwin taught art and architectural history at the University of the Bosphorus from 1957 to 1968 and is the author of several authoritative works, including A History of Ottoman Architecture, Islamic Spain, The Janissaries and Sinan: Ottoman Architecture and its Values Today. The last two titles are also published by Saqi Books.
List of Illustrations A Note on Pronunciation Genealogy of the House of Osman Acknowledgements Foreword Introduction 1. The Coming of the Nomads 2. The Wanderers 3. Home and the Peasant 4. Trade and Wealth 5. Bedfellows 6. The Chrysalis Cracks 7. The Final Decades 8. The Seeding of Western Culture Notes Glossary Bibliography Index