New Introduction by Irvin C. Schick
Melek Hanım, an Ottoman woman of Greek, Armenian, and French heritage, accompanied her husband to various postings in Palestine and Serbia, and shared with him the frustrations of the arbitrary periodic dismissals that characterized late Ottoman politics. Her account of life in Turkey contains details of political intrigue, corruption and demonstrates the influence and mobility available to women in the official households of the Ottoman elite. Filled with maneuvers, murder, divorce, political machinations, and vengeance, Hanım's life was an attempt to gain access to property she viewed as legitimately her own. This book was written during her later exile in Paris.