By Roderick Cavaliero
"Romanticism had its roots in myth and consumed myth." So Roderick Cavaliero introduces the nineteenth-century eu Romantic obsession with the Orient. Cavaliero brings on a wealthy solid of major Romantic writers, artists, musicians and visitors, 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, throughout the center 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 nation that threatened Europe in prior centuries; and the Ottoman Sultan as an absolute ruler residing in far-off elegance, with strength of existence and dying over his humans, stifling any nationwide and democratic aspiration that may undermine his empire. yet dislike of Oriental despotism should be overlaid by way of the frisson of oriental luxurious, particularly because the Ottoman Sultans have been additionally heirs to the Caliphate of the enduring Harun ar Rashid within the magnificent Arabian Nights Entertainments - stories highly well known in Europe and symbolizing undying jap luxurious. Dualism used to be primary to Romantic imaginative and prescient - the arch-romantic Byron wrote of "virgins delicate because the roses they wire" in his Turkish stories yet fought for his romantic imaginative and prescient of Greek nationwide independence. Cavaliero’s Ottomania will satisfaction all readers drawn to stories of the Orient and the literature of the Romantic stream - a wealthy treasure-house of poets, novelists and tourists.
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Additional info for Ottomania: The Romantics and the Myth of the Islamic Orient (Library of Ottoman Studies)
He could not quite make out where, if to anyone other than himself, Ali’s loyalties lay. He owed the effectiveness of his control of the Epirus round Yannina to the restraint he imposed on his followers; he could be as rapacious as he liked but their greed was to be 02_Ottomania_019-030 15/1/10 10:05 Page 27 THE SULTAN IN HIS SERAGLIO moderated. He did not hesitate to cultivate the Orthodox hierarchy as his allies in extorting cash and supplies from the Christian faithful. Despite his pretence to be a Greek among the Greeks, he had a very Turkish view of the nation.
She in her turn was the head of a household of as many as 300 women: wives, domestic servants and concubines. Later there was to be the creole beauty Aimée Dubucq de Rivéry, a cousin of Napoleon’s first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais, who was captured by Algerian corsairs and donated by the Bey as a diplomatic sweetener to the Sultan, Abdul Hamid I. Widely believed to be the mother of his successor Mahmud II (hammer of the Janissaries and would-be moderniser of that same empire from 1808 to 1839), Aimée was said to have influenced Ottoman policy in favour of France, despite Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt.
The Entertainments might cast a genial light on the world of faery but the eastern world had long been seen as the home of necromancy and magic, through which the spirits of the demonic world, over which presided the satanic figure of Eblis, could be evoked. There was scarcely an oriental tale that did not figure a sorcerer, or a djinn, or a slave with a magic talisman. 1 (Byron, Don Juan) this popular image of the Sultan in his seraglio based? The canny Venetians, who sent sharp-eyed men to represent their interests at the court of the Grand Signor, had known better for two centuries, and much of the information upon which the West had constructed its image of the Ottomans came from them.