People in this country can’t have heard so much about the Turks since Gladstone vilified them in 1876. They’ve been in Brussels; they spooked the French; and they had the turnstiles rattling with the RA’s recent show, Turks: A Journey of 1,000 Years. Who are these people?
The timing of Caroline Finkel’s splendidly written Osman’s Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire reflects the buoyant state of Ottoman scholarship. Neglected archives have been triumphantly mined by a new generation of scholars, and Finkel’s intimacy with the material makes this the most authoritative narrative history of the empire yet published.