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It is an uncensored story about the life of a white slavegirl in the Ottoman Empire: a story of innocent and educated European women, including a mother and daughter, enslaved and used for pleasure and forced breeding in a Pasha’s harem. But is also much more than that.

It is also a story of extraordinary slave training: of female circumcision: of slave dealers; of expectant work slaves chained to their looms in a carpet factory under the control of a cruel overseer; of life in a very special brothel; of the strange breeding hobby of a Turkish lady; of the heroine being mated with a dwarf and then tarred and feathered and kept like a bird in a cage; of strict black eunuchs - and all in a world where white women slaves are ruled by fear of the cane, the whip and the bastinado.

This is one of Allan Aldiss’s best and most original of his stories about harems and slavery and the historic setting is a very erotic and unusual one.



AUTHOR'S NOTE


Present day readers of this story may be surprised at the apparent racism regarding the mutual antagonism between the black eunuchs and the white women in their charge.

Please accept that this is simply a reflection of actual attitudes in Turkey a hundred years ago.

This was a time when black eunuchs had been employed to take charge of the harems of the ruling officials and of the wealthy for hundreds of years - mainly because they were black. White eunuchs were not normally employed in harems because experience had shown that they were too easy-going. Black eunuchs were not.

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