Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire by Leslie Peirce

Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire - Leslie Peirce

I became fascinated with this woman of history after I read a fictional account of her in a book titled, "Harem" by Colin Falconer. Then I discovered a Turkish tv series called Magnificent Century and I have been hooked. I've done little reading since then.

 

This is the story of Hurrem Sultan, (Roxelena), and how she became one of the most powerful woman in the world when she became wife of Sultan Suleiman, ruler of the Ottoman Empire. I just find it amazing how a person who was taken and sold as a slave, rose to such power by sheer will and determination. Although much is not known, due to the secrecy behind palace walls and especially of the harem, it was still fascinating to read about what is known. The love that Suleiman had for this woman must have been very special for him to break tradition and marry his concubine, which was unheard of, and not repeated after they died.

 

Recommended for historical fans. The TV series is quite addicting also, although so far only the first season and a little of the second is subtitled. Season 1 is available on Netflix instant play, season 2 on Youtube.  Not sure about season 3 or 4, but this show has been out for awhile. Anyway, I wish I knew Turkish.