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HARVEY, Annie Jane.

Turkish Harems and Circassian Homes.

Published: London: Hurst & Blackett, 1871

Stock code: 86936

Price: £1,500

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First edition. Uncommon, and illuminating account of a yacht cruise to Constantinople, the Crimea, and Circassia. “Although the majority of the book is about her travels in Russia, it is packaged as harem literature, using the words ‘harem’ and ‘Circassian’ in the title to attract readers. Offering a mix of harem and travel account, the descriptions of harems and Ottoman women are combined with Harvey’s careful observation of landscape, towns, street scenes, and aspects of domestic life such as food traditions and cooking … Like Lady Brassey’s books that had their origins in letters written home, Harvey’s work was apparently based on diaries entries made during her travels. Unlike Brassey’s limited interest in the lives of women abroad, Harvey positioned herself to write extensively about the Turkish women that she met” (Lewis & Micklewright, Gender, Modernity and Liberty: Middle Eastern and Western Women’s Writings, p. 101). Harvey had previously published a similar account of a cruise to the Levant, and subsequently wrote a travelogue on Spain. She published fiction under the pseudonym of Andrée Hope.

Octavo (210 134 mm). Recent red half morocco on old marbled boards by Trevor Lloyd, black morocco label, wavy gilt roll to the bands, floral device to the compartments, marbled edges and endpapers. Chromolithographic frontispiece and title page, after drawings by the author, lithography by Hanhart. A little rubbed on the boards, slight foxing front and back, light browning, else very good.

Bibliography: Blackmer 791.

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