The Harem: Inside the Grand Seraglio of the Turkish Sultans
by N.M. Penzer
For nearly four centuries, the Ottoman sultans dwelt amid the secret splendors of Topkapi Palace. Access to the Grand Seraglio--which served as the empire's administrative, legislative, and judicial center and an academy of fine arts, as well as the ruler's home--was jealously guarded, even after the sultans ceased to reside there in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1936, a...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 13th 2005 by Dover Publications
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This was so dry as to be unreadable. When it was originally written, in the 30's, very few people had been into the Topkapi palace and fewer still into the Harem. Now having toured there, the extremely slow pace of the book and it's dry style which taught me nothing new about the palace, made me put the book down after struggling through 150 pages.