Harem: World Behind the Veil -P Paperback – Jul 1 1998
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From Publishers Weekly
This study considers the everyday lives of odalisques, the harem as the Moslem equivalent of purdah and male-dominated harem life as symbolic of the collective unconscious. "Ultimately, the text is a choppy amalgam of history, reminiscence, conjecture and intermittently overblown writing," said PW . "Much more evocative are the 125 photographs and reproductions of art works included here."
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
"Harem" is lavishly illustrated with photographs, Turkish woodcuts, and Persian miniatures of tastefully clad ladies within their private world. There are also paintings of what European artists imagined (for the most part) the interior of a Turkish bath or seraglio might look like. "La grand Odalisque" by Ingres adorns the cover and Gérôme, Delacroix, Renoir, and John Frederick Lewis are among other European artists whose paintings embellish these pages.
The details of everyday life in a wealthy sultan's harem (the author focuses on the Seraglio of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul) stuns the reader's senses. Dinners were set on velvet cloths embroidered with silver. The napkin rings were mother-of-pearl set with diamonds. The sherbet might have been concocted from the essence of violets or roses, as well as more commonplace fruit juices.
And the clothing! Veils of sheerest muslin, tasseled caps of velvet embroidered with pearls, trousers of Bursa silk, vests and girdles encrusted in precious stones. European males may have fantasized about the state of undress in a harem (as witnessed by their paintings), but their wives and daughters--those who were fortunate enough to actually visit a harem--wrote home about the intricate and beautiful costumes.Read more ›
For a two-bit
This sitting here is caught
By the men of the century.
The odalisque had been "imprisoned for stealing a cheap mirror." These women, the slaves and sultanas alike, made the best of their lives as they could, and the author has turned their stories into a beautiful, inspiring book. A round of applause for Alev Lytle Croutier.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a wonderful book filled with lots of interesting info and beautiful photos and illustrations. It's the kind of book you don't want to put down. Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by Melinda D. Prather
I returned from Turkey last year with more questions about the Imperial harem than I could find answers too. The tour of the harem was short and rather superficial. Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2004 by Vintage PowerReader
I was not impressed with this book at all....the information about harem life seemed very superficial and did not delve as deeply into the personal relationships as I had hoped. Read morePublished on Aug. 20 2000 by Kimberly A. Hock
I found Croutier's book to be visually delightful and was spell-bound through-out. A great introductory book for the lay scholar, and an absorbing thoughtful account of Alev's own... Read morePublished on Aug. 8 1999
HAREM is the most important book about the role of eastern women written and available in the western world. Read morePublished on Aug. 8 1999
The book was fun and easy to read, in a very well presented format with a lot of colorful pictures. However, it is very "light weight" if you are really into history.Published on Jan. 7 1999 by Serdar Tufekci (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Harem"--beautifully and imaginatively illustrated--perpetuates the western myths about the Muslim harem, the women's quarters of the household, whether luxurious or... Read morePublished on Nov. 19 1998 by email@example.com