Previously entitled "Power and the Harem", this historical account draws on numerous sources to present a picture of a little-known world: the life of women during the six centuries of the Ottoman Empire. The book concentrates on the people of the Balkans, Thrace and Anatolia. In these provinces ordinary women endured 600 years of hardship and trouble, raised their children, mourned their dead and, in doing so, developed the courageous personalities that dominate this account. Forming the highest strata of society were the princesses and the great ladies who achieved political power. Much more is recorded about life in the palace than in humble homes, but even here much can be deduced. The final chapters of the book move into the 19th century, with a wide range of conflicting reports of what it meant to be alive in the final years of the declining Ottoman Empire. Godfrey Goodwin is the author of "A History of Ottoman Architecture", "Islamic Spain", "The Janissaries" and "Sinan: Ottoman Architecture and Its Values Today".