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BLOG 45 09/02/2017 Matrakçı Nasuh: The Bosnian Leonardo da Vinci of the Ottoman Empire

Posted on February 9, 2017

BLOG 45 09/02/2017 Matrakçı Nasuh: The Bosnian Leonardo da Vinci of the Ottoman Empire

Matrakçı Nasuh: The Bosnian Leonardo da Vinci of the Ottoman Empire Nasuh bin Karagöz bin Abdullah el-Visokavi el-Bosnavî better known as Matrakçı Nasuh, was a 16th century Bosnian mathematician, teacher, historian, cartographer, swordmaster, painter and illustrator. He was born in the town of Visoko and recruited as a Janissary under devşirme system common in the Ottoman Empire until the 19th century. This was the system where promising young boys were recruited from the Christian communities of the empire to be brought up as a Moslem and...

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BLOG 44 22/11/2016 “FRIENDS OF LITERATURE”: The Embroiderer of Smyrna” An interview.

Posted on November 23, 2016

BLOG 44 22/11/2016 “FRIENDS OF LITERATURE”: The Embroiderer of Smyrna” An interview.

 “FRIENDS OF  LITERATURE” “The Embroiderer of Smyrna” A few days ago I was interviewed by the delightful Clio Tsalapati, on her Greek literary blog “Friends of Literature” about “The Embroiderer” now called “The Embroiderer of Smyrna” in Greek. She has kindly allowed me to reproduce the full interview on my own blog. The following is the interview in both Greek and English. Clio asked probing questions, not only about the novel itself, but about writing in general. It was a joy to...

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Blog 43 21/11/2016 Constantinople Through the Eye of the Lens

Posted on November 21, 2016

Blog 43 21/11/2016 Constantinople Through the Eye of the Lens

Constantinople Through the Eye of the Lens: 19th c. Photographers. I am often asked where I sourced my inspiration for “The Embroiderer”, especially Constantinople at the end of the 19th century. As a visual person I look towards old photographs. Photographs never lie, especially at a time when the written word was quite often biased. Bahattin Oztuncay’s “The Photographers of Constantinople: Pioneers, studios and artists from 19th Century Istanbul” was invaluable. This two-volume set is the story of how Constantinople became a Middle Eastern...

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12/11/2016 An Interview with Author Effrosyni Moschoudi about her new novel -The Amulet.

Posted on November 11, 2016

12/11/2016 An Interview with Author Effrosyni Moschoudi about her new novel -The Amulet.

An Interview with Author Effrosyni Moschoudi Today I have the pleasure of bringing to you an interview with a wonderful author and prolific blogger, Effrosyni Moschoudi. Effrosyni’s novels set in Greece have been widely acclaimed and today she is with us to discuss her new novel. Welcome, Effrosyni. You must be excited about your newly published novel, The Amulet. What is it about?   First of all, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog. I am excited to be here! The Amulet is a romantic comedy with angels that is set on the...

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Blog 42. 25/10/2016 Maria Callas and the Story of the Piano at the Pera Musuem, Istanbul.

Posted on October 26, 2016

Blog 42. 25/10/2016 Maria Callas and the Story of the Piano at the Pera Musuem, Istanbul.

 Maria Callas and the Story of the Piano at the Pera Musuem, Istanbul. Whilst on my last trip to Istanbul, I came across this interesting snippet of information at The Pera Museum and thought I would share it with you all. The piano in question, which now takes centre stage in the cafe there, was bought for Maria Callas (Cecilia Sophia Anna Maria Kalogeropolou) by her father. In 1939, father and daughter travelled by liner across the Atlantic through the Straits of Gibraltar to the Aegean. The piano landed at Pire (Piraeus) and was...

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Blog 41 03/10/2016 Postcards from a Leicestershire Village: Grace Dieu Priory and a Famous Playright.

Posted on October 4, 2016

Blog 41 03/10/2016 Postcards from a Leicestershire Village: Grace Dieu Priory and a Famous Playright.

Postcards from a Leicestershire Village: Grace Dieu Priory and a Famous Playright. The village of Thringstone in Leicestershire sits on the edge of Charnwood Forest, a lush woodland of glorious deciduous trees carpeted with bluebells and rhododendron bushes in the spring and hedgerows filled with blackberries and rosehips in late summer. Thringstone is mentioned in the Domesday Book as “Trangesbi” and most probably gets its name from the Viking name, “Traengr” combined with the Anglo-Saxon suffix, “tun” meaning farm or village. A watermill...

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Blog 40 26/09/2016 20th Century Greek Art: The Amos Art Group.

Posted on September 26, 2016

Blog 40 26/09/2016 20th Century Greek Art: The Amos Art Group.

20th Century Greek Art: The Amos Art Group. The twentieth century in Greek art was a transition from the constraints of the old world: the classicism of ancient Greece to the realism and romanticism that stemmed from Greek artists’ contact with the west after the Greek War of Independence, combined with the naivety of folk art and the tradition of icon painting. The past would still continue to exert its influence but in a much freer style. Expressionism and Cubism would now make its mark. In 1949, when the Civil War in Greece was drawing to...

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A LITERARY WORLD: GREECE. An Interview with Luke Christodoulou.

Posted on September 19, 2016

A LITERARY WORLD: GREECE. An Interview with Luke Christodoulou.

A Literary World: Greece. An Interview with Luke Christodoulou. My guest today is the multi-talented Cypriot author, Luke Christodoulou, an English teacher (MA Applied Linguistics – University of Birmingham), a poet and an author.  His first book, THE OLYMPUS KILLER (#1 BESTSELLER – Thrillers), was released in April, 2014 and was voted Book Of The Month for May on Goodreads (Psychological Thrillers). The book continued to be a fan favourite on Goodreads and was voted BOTM for June in the group Nothing Better Than Reading. In...

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Blog 39. 20/08/2016 Crete: Chieftains and Heroes. A War Museum in the Mountains.

Posted on August 19, 2016

Blog 39. 20/08/2016 Crete: Chieftains and Heroes. A War Museum in the Mountains.

Crete: Chieftains and Heroes. A War Museum in the Mountains. “Left to his own resources, man always begins again in the Greek way – a few goats or sheep, a rude hut, a patch of crops, a clump of olive trees, a running stream, a flute.”                                                From “The Colossus of Maroussi”                                                                                                                                                  Henry Miller (1891-1980) There are many places I love in Greece and all for different...

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Blog 38 11/08/2016 The Dawn of Turkish Literature: The Book of Dede Korkut.

Posted on August 11, 2016

Blog 38  11/08/2016 The Dawn of Turkish Literature: The Book of Dede Korkut.

 The Dawn of Turkish Literature: The Book of Dede Korkut. Turkish literature, the premier genre of Turkish culture, is among the world’s oldest with a rich and complex legacy spanning over twelve centuries. Few cultures throughout history have changed as drastically yet remained as intact in preserving most of their basic cultural traits as has Turkish culture and language has played an important role in this. When Yusuf Has Hacid, 11thc, considered to be the first Turkish poet to produce a major original literary work wrote the following...

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