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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus by Ayse Osmanoglu

I've just binge watched Magnificient Century so it was very apt that I got this book. Set in the twilight years of the Ottoman Empire where their sheer power from the time of Suleyman has been greatly diminished, we are dealing with the family of Murad V whose thrown was seized by his brother, but fortunately unlike before, he was not murdered, he was just exiled to the beautiful Ciragan Palace for a period of twenty eight years and he eventually died there. The story of Murad, his son and his grand son and the story starts with the blessings of his first great grandson. What the future holds for this little prince is shaky and unknown. Murad has lived in the shadows for so long, and the whole family along with him. None of his children or grand children, his wives consorts sisters have known the outside world but they have not rebelled against these strict rules. When Murad dies, the ties seem to loosen a little and the family has access to their extended family at last. Added to this is the Sultan's sisters indiscretion and the far reaching implications of the love affa The story of the day to day life of an exiled family, living in luxury nevertheless and trying to accept their fate in the best possible manner is this book. It was very good reading - both from a historical point of view, as well as a family saga. It marked the end of a dynasty and the beginning of constituitional reform in Turkey. The research and detail is meticulous and immensely educative as well as interesting. Written by a family member who is a history graduate as well, the story epitomises all that is good for history buffs. Sent by BooksGoSocial for an unbiased review, courtesyof Netgalley.

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