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The City's Pleasures: Istanbul in the Eighteenth Century (Publications on the Near East) Hardcover – November 10, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

The City's Pleasures explores a later era that has attracted less attention... Hamadeh defines the character of a period through its buildings. Especially noteworthy is her use of poetry and building inscriptions.

(Robert S. Nelson Art Bulletin 2011-01-00)

The City's Pleasures is an accomplished and important contribution to Ottoman history, art history, urban studies, and early modern studies in general. Scholars and students from these different fields will benefit from its innovative research, clear and compelling narrative, and convincing revisions of old perceptions of Ottoman stagnation and the supposed allure of the 'West.'.

(Eighteenth- Century Studies)

Her book is beautiful: wonderfully illustrated with reproductions of dozens of Ottoman miniatures from the most precious collections worldwide. But it is also an important contribution to scholarly reflection on Ottoman architecture and court art... Hamadeh's book is a crucial contribution to the deconstruction of dominant narratives.

(American Historical Review)

Lavishly illustrated.... a consummate treatment that allows us to imagine ourselves as denizens of eighteenth-century Istanbul.

(Times Literary Supplement)

(Hamadeh's) argument is convincingly supported by careful attention to written and visual evidence and, most tellingly, to poetry such as adorns the fountains that still beautify the city.

(Cornucopia)

The book bridges a gap in the historiography and is an important contribution to the literature on Ottoman (and broader Islamic) architecture and urbanism. A wider audience will find it valuable, as it adds an important counterpoint to studies of early modern aristocratic villa and garden cultures, and to studies of parallel trends in eighteenth-century Europe.

(Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians)

Shirine Hamadeh has achieved a perfect fusion of accessible narrative, illuminating quotation, and illustration that makes this large-format book a gem.

(ForeWord)

Hamadeh's rich, multilayered, and multifaceted analysis of Istanbul's changing urban landscape in the eighteenth century will be a cornerstone for further work on Ottoman architectural and urban history, and for scholarship on eighteenth-century culture more broadly.

(Eighteenth-Century Life)

Shirine Hamadeh is one of the most brilliant Islamic scholars of her generation.

(Gulru Necipoglu, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture, Harvard University)

The City's Pleasures masquerades as a book on eighteenth—century architecture in Istanbul, but it is, in fact, far more than that. It is, as the title suggests, a glimpse of a broad spectrum of life in the Ottoman capital during one of its most productive and lively periods through the lens of architecture.

(Walter G. Andrews, University of Washington)

Shirine Hamadeh offers compelling discussions of the conceptualization of urban/public space, the relationship between courtly and popular canons, the emergence of a leisure class with new tastes and aesthetic sensibilities, and the artistic exchanges between Europe and the Ottoman Empire in the eighteenth century.

(Sibel Bozdogan, Harvard University and Bilgi University, Istanbul)

The City's Pleasures masquerades as a book on eighteenth-century architecture in Istanbul, but it is, in fact, far more than that. It is, as the title suggests, a glimpse of a broad spectrum of life in the Ottoman capital during one of its most productive and lively periods through the lens of architecture.

(Walter G. Andrews, University of Washington)

From the Inside Flap

The City's Pleasures is the first historical investigation of the tremendous changes that affected the fabric and architecture of Istanbul in the century that followed the decisive return of the Ottoman court to the capital, in 1703. These were spectacular times, that witnessed the most extraordinary urban expansion and building explosion in the history of the city.


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