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About the Book


A mesmerizing novel based on the true story of Empress Josephine's cousin who, kidnapped at age thirteen, was given as a gift to the Turkish sultan, placed at the lowest level of the harem, and rose to become the most powerful woman in the Ottoman Empire.

Aimée du Buc de Rivery was still a child when she found herself in the hands of pirates while en route from France to her home in Martinique. The genteel young girl was a valuable commodity, and she was soon placed in service in a seraglio in Topkapi Palace—the Ottoman emperor's private world. Brilliantly reimagining Aimée's story, biographer and Middle East expert Janet Wallach transports readers to the menacing yet majestic world of eighteenth-century Turkey. Seraglio provides a passionate glimpse of East-West history through one woman's distinctly European eyes.

by Janet Wallach

  • Publication Date: January 21, 2003
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Nan A. Talese
  • ISBN-10: 0385490461
  • ISBN-13: 9780385490467