By Roderick Cavaliero
"Romanticism had its roots in delusion and consumed myth." So Roderick Cavaliero introduces the nineteenth-century ecu Romantic obsession with the Orient. Cavaliero brings on a wealthy solid of major Romantic writers, artists, musicians and guests, together with Beckford, Byron, Shelley, Walter Scott, Pierre Loti, Thomas Moore, Rossini, Eugene Delacroix, Thackeray and Disraeli, who luxuriated within the unique attractions, sounds, literature and mythology of the Orient - the japanese Mediterranean and center East. Cavaliero analyzes the Romantic imaginative and prescient of the Orient from Ottoman Turkey, in the course of the heart East, together with Egypt and Persia, to the Vale of Kashmir - fascination with the unique Orient combined with distaste for despotic rule.The Romantics observed the Ottoman Empire because the feebler successor to the large and invincible army country that threatened Europe in earlier centuries; and the Ottoman Sultan as an absolute ruler dwelling in far-off elegance, with strength of lifestyles and loss of life over his humans, stifling any nationwide and democratic aspiration that will undermine his empire. yet dislike of Oriental despotism might be overlaid by way of the frisson of oriental luxurious, particularly because the Ottoman Sultans have been additionally heirs to the Caliphate of the long-lasting Harun ar Rashid within the magnificent Arabian Nights Entertainments - stories highly well known in Europe and symbolizing undying japanese luxurious. Dualism was once basic to Romantic imaginative and prescient - the arch-romantic Byron wrote of "virgins delicate because the roses they cord" in his Turkish stories yet fought for his romantic imaginative and prescient of Greek nationwide independence. Cavaliero’s Ottomania will pride all readers attracted to stories of the Orient and the literature of the Romantic circulation - a wealthy treasure-house of poets, novelists and tourists.
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Extra resources for Ottomania: The Romantics and the Myth of the Islamic Orient (Library of Ottoman Studies)
The head eunuch, surprised at the strength of the Sultana’s passion for the androgynous Juan, interprets her sentence as the result of temporary rage at being spurned and, knowing that she would want to try him again, as she was a lady with simple but single-minded tastes, arranges instead for Juan to be accommodated for the night in the women’s quarters. He is unable, however, to make the sleeping arrangements, so that Don Juan is bedded with a buxom lass who rather noisily betrays her gratified alarm at his amorous if unintended groping.
The Sultan was never alone without a page to provide for his every need. The rewards for the most adept, wakeful and dedicated were many, the greatest that he might one day rise to become Grand Vizier. Most of them became senior civil servants, military and naval officers, or governors of provinces. Failure or backsliding might be met by sudden and nasty retribution but until the end of the seventeenth century there was a constant supply of young recruits to replace them if, for any reason, they failed in their role.
The Sultan might be constrained by Islamic law as interpreted at the time, but in matters in which the law was no guide it was understood that any lesser mortal could be served with summary retribution for any offence against him at any moment. Office-holders, even the Grand Vizier, could be required to relinquish office, and often with it life, without warning, for an offence or failure not invariably understood, the usual medium of warning being a perfunctory letter followed by instant execution.