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Paula Wynne

Pinned 4 years 4 months ago onto Writing Advice

How Women Lived In Harems


While researching and writing my historical thriller, The Luna Legacy, which features The Alhambra Palace before Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand took it over in 1492, I wanted to see how women lived in a harem under the Sultan's rule.

I found what I needed in lots of books I bought when visiting Alhambra Palace, which is thankfully only an hour from where I live in Spain. However, I did find an article that would be of great interest to other Historical Fiction writers.

Merryn Allingha's Ottoman Women and the Harem shows how some perceptions of a harem could be wrong. For example, Merryn explains that within their own homes, Turkish women had absolute sovereignty and were treated with courtesy and respect. And that outside the home, they were similarly respected. It was considered a sin to stare at women in public, for instance. And if a man behaved badly towards a woman, regardless of his position or religion, he would not escape punishment.

Read Merryn's full article to see how you as a writer of Historical Fiction can depict life in a harem during the medieval era. This image is one of many that Merryn features in her excellent article for Historical Fiction writers.

If you want more information or to connect with other Historical Fiction writers, join this Historical Fiction Group For Writers.


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