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Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, 1453-1924 [Kindle Edition]

Philip Mansel
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: £16.99
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

Philip Mansel's highly acclaimed history absorbingly charts the interaction between the vibrantly cosmopolitan capital of Constantinople - the city of the world's desire - and its ruling family.

In 1453, Mehmed the Conqueror entered Constantinople on a white horse, beginning an Ottoman love affair with the city that lasted until 1924, when the last Caliph hurriedly left on the Orient Express. For almost five centuries Constantinople, with its enormous racial and cultural diversity, was the centre of the dramatic and often depraved story of an extraordinary dynasty.

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'The victory, the defeat, the magnificence, the squalor, the cruelty and the tolerance of the Ottoman years are all recorded there, Constantinople is one of those cities to which I always long to return, and the longing grows on every page' (Anthony Daniels, Sunday Telegraph)

'We no longer have an excuse for our ignorance of a great city in the days of its greatness' (Church Times)

'Admirable... Mansel is at his best when describing the lives led by those in search of the exotic, lulled to sleep in their embassies or waterside villas by the lapping of the Bosphorus and the call to prayer. As a historian of courts, he also captures the spectacle that was the palace, governed by an Ottoman blend of sentiment and cruelty that smelt of blood and tulips' (Literary Review)

A book of outstanding merit (Asian Affairs)

'Without question one of the finest books ever written by an Englishman on the Turks' (Independent)

'[An] engaging and richly detailed account of the city's history from the Turkish conquest to the end of the Ottoman dynasty' (Washington Post)

Book Description

Constantinople, meeting-place of East and West, crossroads of cultures, is portrayed in this work in its role as the imperial capital of the Ottomans, dominating an empire. The book tells the story of the city, and of the impact upon it of the Ottoman Sultans and their dynasty.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2849 KB
  • Print Length: 560 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; New Ed edition (10 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #228,730 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I am not sure this can even be called a book 19 July 2015
By Mr. Nj Mcallister VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am not sure this can even be called a book. Its a collection of notes the 'author' has put together into a book format that has no concrete time frame or thread running through it. It is quite literally all over the place and incredibly badly organised. The author is obviously also totally in love with the turks and for example simply glosses over the brutality of the Turkish slave system of janissary slave soldiers and eunuchs for the govt administration all forcibly abducted from Christian families in Turkish territory. This is possibly the worst book on Turkey and Istanbul I have come across. It seems he simply made basic notes of conversations with turkish people and then turned it into a book. In many places he is quite simply wrong and in others it seems he has no depth of knowledge about the history of the city. Avoid this book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid book! 6 Jun. 2012
By Zoraida - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am actually reading the Spanish translation of this book, which I bought in Spain some years ago. This is a superb, well-written book that entices the reader to continue reading. The city comes alive in a wonderful way, from the lives and likes of the Sultans to those of grand viziers, great architects, and even artisans. The descriptions of the mosques and architectural landmarks are splendid. I am now ordering the book in English, in order to read it in the language in which it was written. I recommend this book, not only for travelers to Istanbul but also for the general, cultured reader.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable History 5 July 2013
By Tsar Joe - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very even and balanced account, a mix of social and political History. Excellent introduction for readers new to the subject, fresh review for those who have read the subject. Smooth text.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Istanbul....Constantinople 10 Feb. 2012
By Irfan M. Ibrahim - Published on
Philip Mensel has a done a great job. I traveled to Istanbul and had to get some historical perspective on Istanbul. I had no knowledge on 1453-1924 time period. If you are looking for casual treat and through information on Istanbul, You will enjoy it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Istanbul - Constantinople In depth 26 Jan. 2014
By Kindle Customer. Nita - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We found this very helpful as we prepare for our trip to Turkey. It helped us to understand the history not only of Istanbul but of the entire area. The style of writing is difficult to follow but better once we got into the meat of the book.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Conglomerate 10 Sept. 2014
By Larry N. Stout - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has no narrative; it's a hodge-podge of disparate historical fact/fiction, observations, and anecdotes, arranged in 15 broadly thematic (but essentially catch-all) chapters, such as "Harems and Hamams" and "Viziers and Dragomans" Quite a number of the bits of information are very interesting, and the book runs to considerable length in a less-than-large typeface, so there's a lot to like here; however, the disparate melange that is each chapter rules out use of the book as a reference, notwithstanding that the index is decent. I would give this book four stars, maybe five, if the chapters were more coherent and discrete themes more fully developed.
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