In this diary recording two voyages to Constantinople, Lady Annie Brassey demonstrates her keen eye for human interest and narrative detail. The modern reader will glimpse natural wonders and cultural distinctions of Portuagal, Spain, Moroco, Italy, Greece, and Turkey during the mid-1870s.
6 x 9
In Sunshine and Storm in the East, or Cruises to Cyprus and Constantinople, Lady Annie Brassey (1839-1887) exemplifies the keen eye for human interest and narrative detail that propelled her to international fame as a travel writer. These pages present a daily diary of two voyages to Constantinople aboard the family yacht, Sunbeam. Here, the modern reader may glimpse the natural wonders, cultural distinctions, and political circumstances of such countries as Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Italy, Greece, and Turkey during the mid-1870s. Whether Lady Brassey is describing a boar hunt in rural Algeria, speculating on the causes of fever, or relating her tea-time conversation with the wives of Sultan Abdnlaziz in their Turkish harems, she is always a cheerful, informed, and compelling guide. One also finds in this book an excellent example of the nineteenth-century European fascination with the "Orient" as a place of exotic customs, redolent sensuality, and commonplace crueltyùa place, that is, existing partly as a complex metaphor for imperial Europe's attitude toward "the Other" and partly as a socio-political reality.
Scott A. Leonard is Professor of English at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, USA
Cultures in Dialogue returns to print sources by women writers from the East and West. Series One considers the exchanges between Ottoman, British, and American women from the 1880s to the 1940s. Their varied responses to dilemmas such as nationalism, female emancipation, race relations and modernization in the context of the stereotypes characteristic of Western harem literature reframe the historical tensions between Eastern and Western cultures, offering a nuanced understanding of their current manifestations.
Teresa Heffernan is Associate Professor of English at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, NS, Canada. Reina Lewis is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of East London, UK.