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Turkish Embassy Letters Paperback – January 1, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-1853816796 ISBN-10: 1853816795 Edition: Reprint

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Turkish Embassy Letters + The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, Imperial Ambassador at Constantinople, 1554-1562: Translated from the Latin of the Elzevir Edition of 1663
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group; Reprint edition (January 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853816795
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853816796
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Her letters have an immediacy and vivacity that remains as fresh as the mosiacs on the ancient monuments she saw and the eastern gardens that gave her such delight. Anita Desai

From the Publisher

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) was described by a contemporary as "one of the most extraordinary shining characters in the world." Her letters, collected here, tell of her travels through Europe to Turkey in 1716, where her husband had been appointed Ambassador. Her liveliness makes them delightfully readable, and her singular intelligence provides us with insights that were exceptional for their time. Her ability to study another culture according to its own values, and to see herself through the eyes of others, makes Lady Mary one of the most fascinating and accomplished of early travel writers.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By High Maintenance on September 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a mind blowing book. How beautiful is to get to know the life style of Ottoman Turks in Istanbul via the famous letters of an English woman...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookman on February 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Lady M.W.M. was a great letter writer, and though it's not fashionable to say so, I much prefer her to Mme de Sevigne, whose letters are in essence one long hysterical cry to her daughter, You never write, you never call. Per contra, Lady MWM is common-sensical, less needlessly poetic, but with the sharp, discerning eye of a spy. That is, she is a real writer. I only wish I could read her letters that were burnt, thrown away, locked up, and otherwise held away from us, because they were too much of a muchness. Were they explicit? Or were they merely telling 300 y/old secrets? No one knows, and those who do, aren't telling. But even the letters that survived are a dilly. You feel you are almost there. Good stuff, this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Thomas on August 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
What a very clever and interesting book - that is, for those who are interested in early eighteenth century English customs and the Ottoman empire. Lady Mary was an English aristocrat who travelled to Constantinople in 1716 with her husband, Edward, who had been appointed Ambassador to the Turkish court in order to try to broker a peace deal between it and the Viennese court of the Habsburgs. He failed in this mission but, as a result of it, later generations of readers were treated to his wife’s observations of a culture that was so foreign to her own. In her letters to her friends and family back home, she enlightened them on subjects such as the treatment of Jews in the Turkish empire (they were a very powerful element in it); the brutal attitude shown by the Turkish army to the common people, who were often left destitute after soldiers had been through their lands; the position of women in Turkish society; and the wonders of Turkish architecture, so utterly different from that in her own country. She chose her topics according to whom she was writing to. When communicating with the poet, Alexander Pope, she regaled him with lengthy quotes from Arabian poetry. When writing to a clergyman, she explained to him the religious beliefs and rituals practiced in Turkey. And, when writing to her female friends, she took great pains to describe the clothes and hair styles of the local women. In fact, one of the subjects she dwells on the most in the Letters is the women she met. She gives lengthy descriptions of the public baths that women used as meeting places, of her visits to various harems, and her attendance at an all-women pre-marriage ceremony conducted in a public bath.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Smooth transaction, on-time delivery, nice book. I recommend this book highly to everyone who would like to learn about Istanbul, Turks, Turkish culture and Ottoman Empire and its culture.
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