Saturday, November 03, 2007

Ottoman Empire in A New Book

There's a new book out. A mystery. Called "Snake Stone", and written by Jason Goodwin (here's an extract at his site, it is reviewed in the NYTimes and Marilyn Stasio writes that the novel is:

...set in 19th-century Istanbul during the reign of Sultan Mahmut II and features the subtle sleuthing of Yashim Togalu, a eunuch with eyes and ears exquisitely attuned to the cacophony of life in his cosmopolitan world.

In such a setting, sudden violence is just part of the local color. Goodwin obliges with deadly assaults on a local vegetable seller, an old Greek book dealer, an Albanian waterman, a Jewish moneylender and, most interestingly, a French archaeologist whose search for treasure from an earlier era dramatizes the author’s view of Istanbul as a city entwined in its own history.

The Jews in 19th century Turkey were very powerful and highly connected to the Sultan.

Wonder how they are treated by Goodwin.

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