Harem: The World Behind the Veil by Alev Lytle Croutier
A fascinating illustrated history of one of the strangest, and cruelest, cultural institutions ever devised. A worldwide bestseller, translated into twenty-five languages.
Drawing on a host of first hand accounts and memoirs, as well as her own family history, the author explores life in the world’s harems, from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century, focusing on the fabled Seraglio of Topkapi Palace as a paradigm for them all. We enter the slave markets and the lavish boudoirs of the sultanas.
“This is a serious history, yet an immensely readable one—informative, gossipy, and grand fun.” — New York Times Book Review
"A book of breathtaking beauty, lavishly illustrated with color plates and written in an ingratiating prose." — Washington Post