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Valide: A Novel of the Harem Hardcover – Jun 1986


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Hardcover, Jun 1986
CDN$ 58.79 CDN$ 2.66

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 397 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co (June 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688043348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688043346
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,797,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

When a sultan of the Ottoman Empire died, even the horses in his funeral procession (aided by pepper placed under their lids) wept. Alive, he had access to an eighth of the world's riches, a harem of nearly 400 women and his murder-minded heirs, all of whom were kept under virtual house arrest pending his demise. This is the world that Chase-Riboud, the prize-winning author of Sally Hemmings, painstakingly evokes. Her book is moored to an irresistible historic footnote; that in 1741, a French-American girl of 14, captured by Algerian pirates at sea, was forcibly placed in the sultan's Istanbul harem where she later bore him a son whose own accession to the throne made her an empress. So long as it adheres to this story, Valide is consistently interesting. The scenes of life in Topkapi Palace and a bewildered girl's perceptions of it, more than make up for the author's superficial characterization. A greater and ultimately debilitating fault lies with Chase-Riboud's tendency to stray too far afield: readers suddenly find themselves in France with Napoleon, at a gaming table in Russia or on the high seas with John Paul Jones. Because of this, the narrative, though often engrossing, falls short of its exceptional promise.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A valide is a sultan's mother who administers the sultan's harem of several hundred women. Based on historical facts, this is the story of a young girl from Martinique, captured by pirates in the late 1700s, who eventually becomes a favorite of the Ottoman sultan, bears the son who succeeds him, and becomes Valide. There are detailed descriptions here of various methods of making eunuchs, the elaborate preparations of young virgins to sexually serve the sultan, the debauchery of the sultan's female relatives who must be sterilized so they can never bear a royal rival, and the precise and often varied sexual predilections of a large number of characters, including Catherine the Great . Deadly harem intrigues are juxtaposed with imperial ones in this mildly diverting historical romance. Chase-Riboud is the author of the controversial novel Sally Hemings . Patricia Y. Morton, State Lib. of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
An excellent interpretation of the fascinating story of Aimee Dubuc de Rivery. I'm a believer. This is one of the four books I have read and enjoyed that mentioned this fleeting mystery figure in history. Three of the four were primarily about this character, and one made her a supporting character. This book is my favorite of the four. It's very vivid, inspiring, romantic, wonderful, and sexy. Through this novel I was transported to the Turkish Ottoman Empire and behind the forbidden walls of the harem. I was caught up in the intrigue and struggles for power and survival, the opulence, the danger, and the idea of a fate that is not entirely your own to choose. I highly, highly recommend this book. If you love historical fiction with strong women characters, intrigue, luxury, inspiration... read this book. I love it. One of my new favorites.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding Novel - A Must Read Dec 16 2003
By DevoursEbooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent interpretation of the fascinating story of Aimee Dubuc de Rivery. I'm a believer. This is one of the four books I have read and enjoyed that mentioned this fleeting mystery figure in history. Three of the four were primarily about this character, and one made her a supporting character. This book is my favorite of the four. It's very vivid, inspiring, romantic, wonderful, and sexy. Through this novel I was transported to the Turkish Ottoman Empire and behind the forbidden walls of the harem. I was caught up in the intrigue and struggles for power and survival, the opulence, the danger, and the idea of a fate that is not entirely your own to choose. I highly, highly recommend this book. If you love historical fiction with strong women characters, intrigue, luxury, inspiration... read this book. I love it. One of my new favorites.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Wonderfully written, difficult to put down! Jan. 26 2001
By Dorian M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Love, sex, intrigue, friendship...and all of it happening in a far, far away land! What else could a person ask for in a book? This is an incredibly detail-rich tale that alllows one's imagination to run wild. While there's no way to actually verify the most minute details of the working of a real harem (no one I know has been to one), it's easy to allow the book to create powerful imagery in one's mind. I loved this book, and read it quite a few times. A great read, a good addition for your fiction library, and TOTALLY engrossing!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Harem Life Dec 22 2000
By Amy N. Stewart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book about the inner-workings of the Harem. Ms.Chase-Riboud must have put an incredible amount of time and effort into her research. The story flows like water and keeps your attention from begining to end. I highly recommend the book!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Valide: author knows her history, keeps tone personal Dec 3 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found this book invalueable in delving into the much hidden world of the middle east, harems and the practice of capturing "white slaves" for the sultans. This book tells the story of an actual woman in history who became the favorite of the harem and her trials and victories.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A terrific book Feb. 24 2000
By Karla Tonella - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Not just an historical tale, but a meditation on the contradictions of privilege and power within oppression. Powerfully written, erotic in places, and always capable of putting the reader into the time and place. Chase-Riboud also wrote the novel _Sally Hemmings_ which was much better than the made-for-TV movie (for which she got no credit).


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