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The portrayal of the East vs. the West in Lady Mary Montagu's Letters and Emily Ruete's Memoirs.


AFTER THE PUBLICATION OF Edward Said's Orientalism (1978), a great deal of controversy emerged that basically dealt with the West's elitist e·lit·ism or é·lit·ism  
1. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.
 outlook and misrepresentation misrepresentation

In law, any false or misleading expression of fact, usually with the intent to deceive or defraud. It most commonly occurs in insurance and real-estate contracts. False advertising may also constitute misrepresentation.
 of the East. Very few studies concentrated on the other trend that embodied positive ideas. Some Western writers actually glorified glo·ri·fy  
tr.v. glo·ri·fied, glo·ri·fy·ing, glo·ri·fies
1. To give glory, honor, or high praise to; exalt.

 the East and even considered it superior to the West. Geoffery Nash's study, From Empire to Orient: Travellers to the Middle East 1830-1926 (2005) falls into such a category. The author argues that the picture is more complex than the one previously proposed by Said who has mainly based his arguments on the Western 'hostile corpus.' (1) Nash points to the Spirit of the East (1838), [written by the First Secretary at the British Embassy in Istanbul, David Urquhart For the Bishop of Birmingham, see .

David Urquhart (1805 – May 16, 1877) was a Scottish diplomat and writer. Youth and Education
Born Cromarty, Scotland, Urquhart was educated, under the supervision of his widowed mother, in France, Switzerland, and Spain.
 (1805-1877)] as a pioneering work in this trend. Thus, for Nash, Urquhart stands as a 'discursive instability within Orientalism." There was also a woman who lived before Urquhart who could be considered, the pioneer in her views toward the East; namely Lady Mary Montagu (1689-1762). Many critics of Montagu focused on Montagu's presumed lesbianism lesbianism: see homosexuality.
 also called sapphism or female homosexuality,

the quality or state of intense emotional and usually erotic attraction of a woman to another woman.
 or licentious li·cen·tious  
1. Lacking moral discipline or ignoring legal restraint, especially in sexual conduct.

2. Having no regard for accepted rules or standards.
 description of the seraglio Seraglio: see Istanbul, Turkey. . However, Montagu made various insightful and important comparisons between the West and the East, whether in the manners of people and habits, or in issues like slavery and women's rights The effort to secure equal rights for women and to remove gender discrimination from laws, institutions, and behavioral patterns.

The women's rights movement began in the nineteenth century with the demand by some women reformers for the right to vote, known as suffrage, and

I would also like to point out some commonalities between Montagu's views and Emily Ruete's (1844-1924) Memoirs (1880s), which is the first known autobiography of an Arab woman. Ruete or Sayyda Salme, being an Arab Muslim princess living in Zanzibar, was the daughter of Sultan Said bin Sultan Al-Busaid of Oman (1791-1856). She stated her observations of Zanzibar and Oman between 1850 and 1865. The Arab princess, who later converted to Christianity to marry a German merchant, lived the rest of her life in Germany, criticized both the German and British societies.

Ruete knew English as she was hosted by an English family in Aden upon leaving Zanzibar. She also quoted two English writers List of English writers is an incomplete alphabetical list of writers from England. It includes writers in all genres and in any language. This is a subsidiary list to the List of English people.  in her book in relation to the issue of slavery and she herself visited England in the midnineteenth century to up with meet her brother, Sultan Barghash (1837-1888).


In order to understand the importance of Montagu and Ruete, one has to briefly examine the prevalent Western attitudes toward the East and Islam before the 18th century. After the fall of Constantinople Fall of Constantinople

associated with end of Middle Ages (1453). [Eur. Hist.: Bishop, 398]

See : Turning Point
 at the hands of the Ottoman leader Mohammed II Mohammed II

(1429–1481) Ottoman conqueror of Constantinople (1453). [Eur. Hist.: Plumb, 292–293]

See : Conquerors
 (1432-1481) in 1453, Islam was seen as a threat and its prophet an impostor. Christian Protestantism, for instance, considered the Pope and the Turk as the two arch-enemies of Christ and his Holy Church, and if the "Turk is the body of Anti Christ, the Pope is the head." (2) As a matter of fact, Islam as a religion was identified with the shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.

Shortcomings may also be:
  • Shortcomings (SATC episode), an episode of the television series Sex and the City
 of the Catholic Church (being the opposite image of pure Christianity). Martin Luther (1483-1546) believed that the one "who fights against the Turks ... should consider that he is fighting an enemy of God and a blasphemer blas·pheme  
v. blas·phemed, blas·phem·ing, blas·phemes
1. To speak of (God or a sacred entity) in an irreverent, impious manner.

2. To revile; execrate.

 of Christ, indeed, the devil himself." (3) But in reality, the Turks were used as touchstones in the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in the sense that each party used the atrocities of its opponent in comparison to the Turks. In some eases, the Turks were favoured to other Christian sects since the former practised more religious tolerance. In other cases, Islam was not seen as a revealed and separate religion but a deviation of Christian belief because both religions carded similar noble values and high ethical standards. For instance, Thomas Carlyle wrote in a letter sent to Ralph Waldo Emerson that Islam was a kind of "bastard Christianity." (4)

Generally speaking, the term 'Turk' was used pejoratively pe·jor·a·tive  
1. Tending to make or become worse.

2. Disparaging; belittling.

A disparaging or belittling word or expression.
 in Europe. It was well known to be attributed to any Muslim but it also took other meanings starting from the sixteenth century, including "a cruel, rigorous, or tyrannical man; any one behaving as a barbarian or savage; one who treats his wife hardly; a bad-tempered or unmanageable man." (5) Thus, Arabs, Muslims, and the 'Unspeakable Turk' all referred to a menace.

In the same respect, the East, specifically Turkey, was thought to be a despotic state that forced its citizens to follow irrational rigid rules in life stemming from the exotic teaching of Islam. As a matter of fact, the term 'despotic' was first linked to the East by a Venetian Ambassador, describing the Ottoman regime as 'the most immoderate im·mod·er·ate  
Exceeding normal or appropriate bounds; extreme: immoderate spending; immoderate laughter. See Synonyms at excessive.
 ... absolute and despotic." (6)

On the other hand, a new European interest in the East was seen in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in terms of commerce. The discovery of trade routes affected the relationship between the East and the West. Some Western commercial companies began to establish offices in the East, like the Muscovy Company Muscovy Company (mŭs`kəvē) or Russia Company, first major English joint-stock trading company. It began in 1553 as a group supporting exploration of a possible northeast passage to Asia.  (1555) and its Persian trade, or the Levant Company In English trading history, the Levant Company, or Turkey Company, was a chartered company formed in 1581,[1] after London merchants petitioned Queen Elizabeth I in 1580 for a charter to begin trading in the Levant, a trade that had fallen away to near nothing in  (1581) with its commerce in the Near East, and the East India Company (1600) and its trades in the Far East. Consequently, more channels of communication were opened "from the reports of commercial factors, travelling merchants, official envoys, and ambassadors." (7) Besides, the general attitude toward the Turks altered with the increasing weakness of the Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire (ŏt`əmən), vast state founded in the late 13th cent. by Turkish tribes in Anatolia and ruled by the descendants of Osman I until its dissolution in 1918.  specifically after signing the Treaty of Karlowitz The Treaty of Karlowitz or Treaty of Karlovci was signed on January 26, 1699 in Sremski Karlovci (Serbian Cyrillic: Сремски Карловци, Croatian: Srijemski Karlovci, German:  in 1699, when the Ottomans retained the Hungarian Banat, which they lost only 19 years later. Instead of viewing Turkey as a serious threat, Europe took a more lenient view but without forgetting its religious biasness. As A. Secor claimed, there was a "shifting oriental discourse" at this stage based on the facts on the ground, since most European writers "increasingly focused on the Ottomans as an example of what England should not be or become." (8)

Within these times, very few writers made positive passing references to the Turks, Arabs, and Islam. In relation to Muslim piracy, Daniel Defoe (1660?-1731) is a useful example to cite especially in his elaboration on the subject of slavery. In The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719), Crusoe was taken captive by the Moors but managed to escape with a small boy. Defoe mentioned that the treatment of the slaves by Muslims could be more merciful than that of the Portuguese, "[I] have been as much a Slave at the Brasils as I had been in Barbary, the meer being sold to a Mahometan excepted; and perhaps a Portuguese is not much a better Master than a Turk, if not in some Cases a much worse." (9) Other examples include Henry Fielding (1707-1754) who was Montagu's cousin and she herself was his patron. Fielding mentioned in Joseph Andrews Joseph Andrews

satirizes the sentimentality of contemporary fiction. [Br. Lit.: Fielding Joseph Andrews]

See : Satire
 (1742) that; "[A] virtuous and good Turk, or Heathen, are more acceptable in the sight of their Creator, than a vicious and wicked Christian, tho' tho also tho'  
conj. & adv. Informal

tho' or tho
conj, adv

US or poetic same as though

 his Faith was as perfectly Orthodox as St. Paul's
This article refers to the Canadian electoral district, for other uses see Saint Paul (disambiguation), Cathedral of Saint Paul, St. Paul's Church
 himself." (10) Such a tolerable view could be attributed to Montagu's influence as one of the founders of the realistic English novel Early novels in English
See the article First novel in English. Romantic novel
The Romantic period saw the first flowering of the English novel. The Romantic and the Gothic novel are closely related; both imagined almost-supernatural forces operating in nature or
. In addition, James Boswell (1740-1795) referred in Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) to the need to discover another country unlike England in order to gain more experience. Boswell stated; "[I] should wish to go and see some country totally different from what I have been used to, such as Turkey, where religion and every thing else are different." Johnson's reply denoted a view that was not popular at the time since he equated the Christian and Muslim countries together, considering them worthy to live in unlike the rest of the world, "[Y]es, Sir;" Johnson responds, "there are two objects of curiosity, the Christian world, and the Mahometan world. All the rest may be considered as Barbarous." (11)

Amid these conflicting views, Lady Montagu was probably the best example of a writer who dealt with the East and Islam with more details and understanding. Montagu stayed in Turkey from 1716 to 1718 with her husband, Edward Montagu For other persons named Edward Montagu, see Edward Montagu (disambiguation).

Sir Edward Montagu (c. 1485 – February 10, 1557) was an English lawyer and judge.
, being the British Ambassador in Constantinople. Her letters sent home were published without authorization in 1763. When she returned, Montagu introduced the inoculation inoculation, in medicine, introduction of a preparation into the tissues or fluids of the body for the purpose of preventing or curing certain diseases. The preparation is usually a weakened culture of the agent causing the disease, as in vaccination against  of smallpox into England after observing it in Turkey. She, herself, was plagued with the disease, which partly marred her face. After being divorced from her husband in 1739, she spent the remaining part of her life touring the Continent. In 1803, her writings about English and Continental life and the 52 Turkish letters were complied in Works.


The letters of Lady Mary Montagu provided the reading public with a new account of the East. The few accounts by Western travelling merchants were generally biased and inaccurate in their descriptions. Montagu wanted to give an "objective" account, and referred in various letters that there were many fallacies in Europe with regard to Muslims. Jean Dumont Jean Dumont Baron de Carlscroon (1660-1726, Vienna) was a French publicist. He followed the profession of arms; but, not obtaining promotion so rapidly as he expected, he quitted the service and travelled through different parts of Europe. , who travelled to Turkey in 1694, was mentioned by Montagu as a writer having "equal ignorance and confidence." In a letter addressed to the Lady, she says that:
   Your whole letter is full of mistakes from one end to
   the other. I see you have taken your ideas of Turkey from that
   worthy author Dumont ... 'Tis a particular pleasure to me
   here, to read the voyages to the Levant, which are
   generally so far removed from truth, and so full of
   absurdities, I am very well diverted with them. They never
   fail giving you an account of the women, whom 'tis certain
   they never saw, and talking very wisely of the genius of the
   men, into whose company they are never admitted; and very
   often describe mosques, which they dare not peep into. The
   Turks are very proud, and will not converse with a stranger
   they are not assured is considerable in his own country. (12)
   (Bold added)

Montagu clearly refers to the fact that most travellers could not comprehend the true nature of the people and places they have been to, because writing and living in any country is totally different from visiting it for a short period of time and then attempting to describe it. On the other hand, she pledges to narrate all the facts despite the fact that they could be unorthodox, saying; "I seriously assert for truth; though I give you leave to be surprised at an account so new to you" (157-8).

Similarly, Ruete mentions that most Western writings about the East lack the understanding of the true culture, saying:
   But to become properly acquainted with, and to get
   initiated into all these minor details of household life, it is
   necessary to have been in the East, and to have lived there for
   a considerable time. No reliance is to be placed on the reports
   of travelers, who stop for a short time only, who are unable to
   gain an insight into all these details, and maybe obtain all their
   information from hotel waiters. Foreign ladies even, supposing
   they have actually entered a harem either at Constantinople or
   Cairo, have never seen the inside of a real harem at all, but
   only its outside, represented by the state rooms decorated and
   furnished in European style. (13)

Ruete believes that no matter how hard a traveler tries to show the truth, he or she will ultimately make mistakes by generalizing due to the available restraints. In relation to the fallacies against the East, Ruete has mostly Muslim women in her mind since their identities remain mysterious as they could not be met by male foreigners due to the nature of the Islamic culture. She continues saying that the "ablest and most conscientious writer must always, to some degree, fall short of giving a perfectly precise and faithful picture of a foreign nation; and, in the case of an Eastern nation, he will, of course, find himself heavily handicapped out of all proportion when family and domestic life generally is so jealously guarded from the gaze of the outer world" (297-8).

Concerning the relationship between the East and West, Montagu and Ruete agree that the East has equal, if not more refined, qualifies than the West, and both suggest that the West has misrepresented the East and its people. Montagu, for instance, mentions that "these people are not so unpolished as we represent them.... [for] their magnificence is of a different taste from ours, and perhaps of a better" (175). The two writers compare living in two places and conclude that the Easterners are living a better one, stating that residing in the East is "less laborious and more peaceful," as Ruete claims (50). Both confirm that the people in the West are losing part of their humanity due to the nature of their civilization, whereas in the East, people are still in tune with their true selves. Montague stresses that:
   I am almost of opinion they have a right notion of
   life; while they consume it in music, gardens, wine, and
   delicate eating, while we are tormenting our brains with some
   scheme of politics, or studying some science to which we can
   never attain.... [T]he good of fame, the folly of praise, hardly
   purchased, and, when obtained, a poor recompense for loss of
   time and health. We die or grow old and decrepit before we
   can reap the fruit of our labours (175).

Hence, Montagu criticizes the Western preoccupation with emotionless e·mo·tion·less  
Devoid of emotion; impassive.

e·motion·less·ness n.

Adj. 1.
 rationalism, preferring the spontaneity and naturalness seen in the East. Furthermore, she views the religion of Islam with reverence and great respect. Once she attended a dervish dervish (dûr`vĭsh), see fakir; Rumi, Jalal ad-Din.

In Islam, a member of a Sufi fraternity. These mystics stressed emotional aspects of devotion through ecstatic trances, dancing, and whirling.
 religious ceremony and noticed how those pious Muslims show the "most solemn gravity" as "there is something touching in the air of submission and mortification MORTIFICATION, Scotch law. This term is nearly synonymous with mortmain.  they assume" (167). She also refers to the Quran as a sacred book that needs great understanding and knowledge of the Arabic rhetoric before comprehending its deep meanings.

To sum up, Montagu and Ruete set rules of observation and description that challenged preconceived ideas and old prejudices. Their voices protested injustice and blind stereotypes. Both were well read and aware of prevalent negative attitudes. As Edward Said Edward Wadie Saïd, Arabic: إدوارد وديع سعيد,  mentioned, the West imagined the East in a way that would only be suitable to serve its fantasies and own interests.


Being a champion of women's rights, Montagu was surprised to find out that Muslim women were not as confined and repressed re·pressed
Being subjected to or characterized by repression.
 as they were pictured in the West. There were many fallacies in the West. Amongst them the belief that Muslim men did not recognize that women would enter Heaven. As an example, the French merchant, Jean de Thevenot who visited Turkey during the seventeenth century, stated the same conviction stressing as well that Muslim men consider women irrational creatures. John Dryden (1631-1700) intimated in his play Don Sebastian (1689) that Turkish women had no souls, an idea repeated in several other works like Mrs. Mantley's Almyna: or, the Arabian Vow (1707), which was partly based on the Arabian Nights Arabian Nights: see Thousand and One Nights.

Arabian Nights

compilation of Middle and Far Eastern tales. [Arab. Lit.: Parrinder, 26]

See : Fantasy
. (14)

As a matter of fact, Western women were less liberated than their Eastern ones at a time when Europeans believed that women's regression was caused by the religion of Islam itself. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), for instance, in her famous A Vindication of the Rights of Woman A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects (1792), written by the eighteenth-century British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, is one of the earliest works of feminist philosophy.  (1792) defended the rights of Western women and called for equality with men, saying that the women of her time were imprisoned im·pris·on  
tr.v. im·pris·oned, im·pris·on·ing, im·pris·ons
To put in or as if in prison; confine.

[Middle English emprisonen, from Old French emprisoner : en-
 in "cages like the feathered race, they have nothing to do but to plume themselves, and stalk with mock majesty from perch to perch." She accused men of being behind the state of degradation because they "earnestly labored to domesticate do·mes·ti·cate  
tr.v. do·mes·ti·cat·ed, do·mes·ti·cat·ing, do·mes·ti·cates
1. To cause to feel comfortable at home; make domestic.

2. To adopt or make fit for domestic use or life.

 women, have endeavored, by arguments dictated by a gross appetite, which satiety satiety

being in a state of satiation; in experimental animals used with reference to eating and drinking.

satiety center
located in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus.
 had rendered fastidious fas·tid·i·ous
1. Possessing or displaying careful, meticulous attention to detail.

2. Difficult to please; exacting.

3. Having complex nutritional requirements. Used of microorganisms.
, to weaken their bodies and cramp their minds." (15) Women did not enjoy significant rights aside from their husbands and that they had no free will to make commercial transactions and were very limited in terms of inheritance. The English Reform Act in 1832 disenfranchised women and did not help them achieve equal rights with men. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the legal status of a married woman that was called coverture coverture

In law, the inclusion of a woman in the legal person of her husband upon marriage. Because of coverture, married women formerly lacked the legal capacity to hold their own property or to contract on their own behalf (see
 prohibited her from holding office, taking part in elections, being a party in a lawsuit, owning property, or even writing a will. When married, a woman's personal fortune would be her husband's and fathers were routinely given custody to their children instead of their mothers upon divorce. (16)

To the contrary of this picture, Montagu describes Sultana Hafiten in Constantinople, who is the favorite of the late Emperor Mustapha, as a very refined lady. After the death of her first husband, she was asked to choose a man of her own choice. So she married the Secretary of State, Bekir Effendi ef·fen·di  
n. pl. ef·fen·dis
1. Used as a title of respect for men in Turkey, equivalent to sir.

2. An educated or respected man in the Near East.
, at the age of 36 and remained with him for over fifteen years. To prove her independence, Montagu mentioned how Hafiten never allowed her husband to pay her visits without her approval. In her castle, she used to pass the "time in uninterrupted mourning, with a constancy con·stan·cy  
1. Steadfastness, as in purpose or affection; faithfulness.

2. The condition or quality of being constant; changelessness.

Noun 1.
 very little known in Christendom, especially in a widow of twenty-one ... "As a matter of fact, Sultana Hafiten imposes her rules on her husband who obeys her without ever questioning. "She has no black eunuchs for her guards, her husband being obliged to respect her as a queen, and not inquire at all into what is done in her apartment ... "(154). In this respect, Srinivas Aravamudan in his article "Lady Mary Wortley Montagu The Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (born 26 May 1689 in Thoresby Hall, died 21 August 1762), was an English aristocrat and writer, chiefly remembered today for her letters. Life  in the Hammam: Masquerade, Womanliness wom·an·ly  
adj. wom·an·li·er, wom·an·li·est
1. Having qualities generally attributed to a woman.

2. Belonging to or representative of a woman; feminine: womanly attire.
, and Levantinization," asserts that Montagu views the Turkish "aristocratic women she meets as already free rather than waiting for emancipation like their European counterparts." (17) Even Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman pointed out that "Turkish bashaws ... have more real power than their masters." (18) Such a kind treatment stems from the teaching of Islam since the Holy Quran always stresses the equality between men and women. (19)

Montagu discussed as well the Western misconception of the Eastern harem. She mentioned, for instance, how Sultana Hafiten was amazed at the ignorance of the West towards the harem, negating the famous fallacy of the Sultan throwing a handkerchief to point out his desired lady. Hafiten emphasizes that sometimes the Sultan "diverts himself in the company of all his ladies, who stand in a circle around him ... [T]hey were ready to die with jealousy and envy of the happy she that he distinguished by any appearance of preference." According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Montagu, such a scene is not only limited to the Eastern harem but also to the Western courts, "where the glance of the monarch is watched and every smile waited for with impatience, and envied by those who cannot obtain it" (156).

Concerning the alleged Muslim women's limitations, Montagu elaborates by referring to the fact that Muslim women are less restricted in the East than the Europeans. The writer mentions several reasons behind her claim:
   'Tis also very pleasant to observe how tenderly he
   [the traveller, Aaron Hill], and all his brethren voyage-writers
   lament the miserable confinement of the Turkish ladies, who
   are perhaps freer than any ladies in the universe, and are the
   only women in the world that lead a life of uninterrupted
   pleasure exempt from cares; their whole time being spent in
   visiting, bathing, or the agreeable amusement of spending
   money, and inventing new fashions. A husband would be
   thought mad that exacted any degree of economy from his
   wife, whose expenses are no way limited but by her own
   fancy. 'Tis his business to get money, and hers to spend it: and
   this noble prerogative extends itself to the very meanest of the
   sex (168).

Thus, Montagu believes that Muslim women are actually "freer than any ladies in the universe" and this kind of freedom is their own right as dictated in Islam. In relation to the intellectual capacities of women, Montagu gave the example of fair Fatima with whom she was acquainted in Adrianople. Fatima was a highly educated and sociable woman whose "wit [was] as engaging as her beauty." As a matter of fact, she had "all the politeness and good breeding politeness; genteel deportment.

See also: Breeding
 of a court; with an air that inspires, at once, respect and tenderness.... " (158). Contrary to the stereotypical image in Europe, Fatima stands, with her fellows, as a witness to the misrepresentation made against Muslim women. Based on Fatima and others like her, Montagu stresses the fact that the "Turkish ladies have at least as much wit and civility, nay, liberty, as ladies among us" (169).

In addition, Montagu affirmed that Turkish men treated their women in a benevolent way. As an example, she mentioned a true story related to a captive Spaniard woman whose ship was attacked by a Turkish Admiral. Her family sent her a ransom, but the Turk took the money and gave it to her, emphasizing that she had the liberty to leave, "[B]ut the lady very discreetly weighed the different treatment she was likely to find in her native country. Her Catholic relations ... would certainly confine her to a nunnery for the rest of her days," (170). As a result, she accepted the Admiral's proposal for marriage, and lived with him to the rest of his life; not mentioning that he did not marry another woman. After the death of the Turkish Admiral, she was left as one of the richest widows of Constantinople.

At the same time, Ruete, who lived in the West and was acquainted with its fallacies, mentioned the fact that:
   It is an absolute myth that the Arab husband treats his
   wife with less regard than is the case here [in Europe]. This is
   already provided by religion, which, though neglecting the
   wife in some points, recommends her, like a helpless child, to
   the protection of the husband. The believing and pious
   Mahometan has as much humane feeling as any highlycivilized
   and moral European; he is perhaps more strict and
   rigorous to himself, believing in the ubiquity of the Lord, who
   made the laws, and carrying the firm conviction to the grave
   that his good acts and his bad will by and by meet with just
   retribution (149).

Ruete states that a Muslim wife is neither powerless in front of her husband nor "obliged to submit unconditionally and for ever to all [his] whims and humors ... " There are social reasons behind this fact. For instance, an Arab lady always "finds shelter with her relations, or, if she stands alone, she has the right to make a complaint to the Kadi Ka´di

n. 1. A Turkish judge. See Cadi.
 [judge] in person. Frequently, too, she has recourse to the law," (150). In another context, Ruete refers to Sultana Azze bint Sef, the wife of Sultan Said bin Sultan of Oman List of Sultans of Oman (1406-Present)
Nabhan Dynasty (1406-1624)

Name Reign start Reign end Notes
Makhzum ibn al Fallah 1406 1435
Abul Hassan 1435 1451
Omar ibn al Khattab 1451 1490
Omar al Sharif 1490 1500
. Azze is pictured as a strong woman whose authority is not limited only to managing the palace but extends to controlling the decisions of the Sultan himself. She "reigned as absolute mistress over the household. In spite of her very small size, and of her plain exterior, she possessed an immense power over my father, who willingly submitted to all her arrangements," (7). According to Ruete, the wife is the "absolute mistress" of the household whose power in the household is unquestioned. Instead of receiving certain sums of money for housekeeping "as is customary in Europe," an Arab woman has "full liberty to disperse of her husband's funds. When the latter has two wives living apart, his income is equally divided between them," (151) as Reute claims.

Furthermore, the Arab princess pointed out the advantages of being an Arab woman as contrasted to being a European. She says, for instance, that when a girl gets married, she will preserve her own name and her family's. The girl "remains always the daughter (bint) of N. or M." (153). Ruete confirms that it is "a fallacy to think that women in the East are placed socially on a lower level than man." The legitimate wife is always respected and she "retains her rank, and all rights and titles emanating from it, to their full extent" (145). In the same respect, G. M. Wickens with "Introduction to the Middle East," stresses that Arab women have had a high status even at the time of early Islam, since they could "carry on various sorts of business by proxy. A few achieved fame as poets or mystics, even as scholars, and many, at all levels of society naturally played important and influential parts behind the scenes." (20)


For many centuries, the West always accused Muslims and Arabs in particular of maltreating the slaves. But in reality, slavery was part of a cultural reality in the West and East alike. Before going through the views of Montagu and Ruete, one needs to briefly examine the history of the slave trade slave trade

Capturing, selling, and buying of slaves. Slavery has existed throughout the world from ancient times, and trading in slaves has been equally universal. Slaves were taken from the Slavs and Iranians from antiquity to the 19th century, from the sub-Saharan
 in the West.

In the centuries following the Renaissance, the African slave trade
This article discusses systems of slavery within Africa, the history and effects of the slavery trade upon Africa. And also Maafa. See Atlantic slave trade for the trans-Atlantic trade, and Arab slave trade for the Trans-Saharan trade.
 was mainly led by Portugal and Spain. Then in the later part of the 16th century, England entered the slave trade, competing to fill the demands of the Spanish colonies. The British South Sea Company obtained the full rights in 1713 to supply the Spanish Colonies. According to Henry Carey's The Slave Trade (1867), a committee was formed by the House of Assembly in 1791 and made a report on the number of slaves imported within 89 years to the Spanish Colonies. There were 473,000 ones brought and only 224,000 remained "establishing the fact that more than half of the whole import had perished under the treatment to which they had been subjected." (21) It was only in 1807 that Britain abolished the slave trade following the example of some European countries. At the Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna was a conference between ambassadors from the major powers in Europe that was chaired by the Austrian statesman Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and held in Vienna, Austria, from late September, 1814, to June 9, 1815.  in 1814, Britain then pressured some foreign powers to adopt a similar policy, and managed at the end to reach a solution to slave traffic.

In this regard, Montagu clearly reproaches the Europeans for being unreasonably critical of Muslims for employing slaves. The British Lady herself, to whom Montagu used to write, requested buying a Greek slave A Greek Slave is a musical comedy in two acts, first performed on June 8 1898 at Daly's Theatre in London, produced by George Edwardes and ran for 349 performances.  from Turkey. According to the Lady, the Greek slave should be a "mistress of a thousand good qualifies." Despite the fact that some Europeans criticized buying slaves, they also sought to own them. Montagu corrects the Lady by saying that the Greeks in Turkey Greeks in Turkey (Turkish: Rumlar) are Greek-speaking Eastern Orthodox Christians who mostly live in Istanbul and on the two islands off the western entrance to the Dardanelles: Imbros and Tenedos (Turkish: Gökçeada and Bozcaada  are "subjects and not slaves" (145).

Similarly, Ruete observes during her stay in Zanzibar that Europeans were the first ones to buy slaves and resell them after leaving their places, saying:
   Such things are, of course, not reported home, or they
   are excused on the plea that they have been done "in the
   interest of science." Science must serve as a pretext for many
   an evil. The morality however, remains the same, whether the
   Arab puts his slaves to field or domestic work, or whether they
   are employed as carriers and porters by Europeans, the latter
   being much harder and more tiring work. Nor are these
   European slave-keepers always humane enough to set the
   slaves they have bought free when they require them no
   longer, as the Arabs often do; they simply resell them. The
   Mahometan population of Zanzibar were greatly incensed on
   one occasion against an Englishman who, before returning to
   Europe, secretly sold his woman-slave to an Arab official

The same case could be observed when the traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt Johann Ludwig (a.k.a. John Lewis) Burckhardt (November 24, 1784 - October 15, 1817), Swiss traveller and orientalist, was born in Lausanne. Youth and early travels  (1784-1817) visited the Arab world “Arab States” redirects here. For the political alliance, see Arab League.
The Arab World (Arabic: العالم العربي; Transliteration: al-`alam al-`arabi) stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the
 in the early nineteenth century to see Mecca and its neighboring areas. He clearly mentioned that he bought and later sold a slave in order to serve him in his journey, saying:
   I was compelled to sell my slave ... During my
   preceding journey he had proved himself a faithful and useful
   companion; and although I have since had several other slaves
   in my possession, I never found one equal to him. The Greek
   captain sold him for me, in the slave-market of Djidda, for
   forty-eight dollars. [This slave cost me sixteen dollars at
   Shendy; thus, the profits of sale on one slave defrayed almost
   the whole expense of the four months' journey through Nubia,
   which I had performed in the spring.] (22)

To his surprise, Burckhardt noticed during his stay in Mecca that a woman slave had to be freed and married to her owner if she became pregnant, otherwise the society would greatly criticize the slave master and may even ostracize os·tra·cize  
tr.v. os·tra·cized, os·tra·ciz·ing, os·tra·ciz·es
1. To exclude from a group. See Synonyms at blackball.

2. To banish by ostracism, as in ancient Greece.
 him. He also referred to the fact that in Arabia and "among the richer classes, it is considered shameful to sell a concubine CONCUBINE. A woman who cohabits with a man as his wife, without being married.  slave." (23)

At the same time, Montagu mentions that the Muslim patron of slaves "never sells them, except it is a punishment of some very great fault. If ever they grow weary of them, they either present them to a friend, or give them their freedom," (145). She further pointed out that slaves in the Muslim world The term Muslim world (or Islamic world) has several meanings. In a cultural sense it refers to the worldwide community of Muslims, adherents of Islam. This community numbers about 1.5-2 billion people, about one-fourth of the world.  were treated in a very merciful manner, unlike the common Western practice. As a matter of fact, slaves are never "ill-used, and their slavery is ... no worse than servitude servitude

In property law, a right by which property owned by one person is subject to a specified use or enjoyment by another. Servitudes allow people to create stable long-term arrangements for a wide variety of purposes, including shared land uses; maintaining the
 all over the world ...Tis true they have no wages; but they give them yearly clothes to a higher value than our salaries to any ordinary servant" (166). Montagu compared the treatment of women to that seen during her time in Europe, and clearly referred to the undeclared enslavement en·slave  
tr.v. en·slaved, en·slav·ing, en·slaves
To make into or as if into a slave.

en·slavement n.
 of women practiced everyday and everywhere, while many men in the West were also enslaved by the remnants of the old feudal system of serfdom serfdom

In medieval Europe, condition of a tenant farmer who was bound to a hereditary plot of land and to the will of his landlord. Serfs differed from slaves in that slaves could be bought and sold without reference to land, whereas serfs changed lords only when the land
. Other travelers like Sir Richard Burton Noun 1. Sir Richard Burton - English explorer who with John Speke was the first European to explore Lake Tanganyika (1821-1890)
Burton, Richard Burton, Sir Richard Francis Burton
 (1821-1890), who traveled to Arabia in the years 1851-1853, noticed that slaves were treated in a highly respectful manner and sometimes enjoyed more freedom than free people. He mentioned the following:
   The laws of Mahomet enjoin his followers to treat
   slaves with the greatest mildness, and the Moslems are in
   general scrupulous observers of the Apostle's
   recommendation. Slaves are considered members of the
   family, and in houses where free servants are also kept, they
   seldom do any other work than filling the pipes, presenting the
   coffee, accompanying their master when going out, rubbing
   his feet when he takes his nap in the afternoon, and driving
   away the flies from him. When a slave is not satisfied, he can
   legally compel his master to sell him. He has no care for food,
   lodging, clothes and washing, and has no taxes to pay; he is
   exempt from military service and soccage, and in spite of his
   bondage is freer than the freest Fellah in Egypt. (24)

Montagu also contested the popular belief that some women in the East were treated like goods if they became slaves, despite the fact that they would receive the same kind of treatment in the West even if they were not called slaves. "But you'll object men buy women with an eye to evil. In my opinion, they are bought and sold as publicly and more infamously in all our Christian great cities," (166). She further mentioned that those slaves had good lives and could easily gain their freedom from their masters. The writer also sensed a suspicion that some may accuse her of distorting facts because she was not critical of the Turks in this aspect, "[I] know you'll expect I should say something particular of the slaves; and you will imagine me half a Turk when I don't speak of it with the same horror other Christians have done before me. But I cannot forbear for·bear 1  
v. for·bore , for·borne , for·bear·ing, for·bears
1. To refrain from; resist: forbear replying. See Synonyms at refrain1.
 applauding the humanity of the Turks to these creatures" (166). In reality, Montagu strived to give as accurate a picture as possible about the manners and conduct of the people. The writer continued her discussion, emphasizing the fact that she could be misjudged back home. "[I] am afraid you will doubt the truth of this account, which I own is very different from our common notions in England; but it is no less truth for all that" (146). The expression Montagu used "our common notions" pointed obviously to the stereotypical attitude inherited for ages in England against Muslims. In the Islamic religion, for instance, one of the greatest virtues done in life is setting a slave free by buying his or her freedom.

In line with the same thoughts, Ruete stressed that the salves in Muslim societies were free to work independently and even to earn their own living, "[O]nce arrived, the slaves are for the most part well cared for. They have of course to work for their masters without wages, but they have no care themselves, and their welfare is always studiously stu·di·ous  
a. Given to diligent study: a quiet, studious child.

b. Conducive to study.

 looked after" (217). It should also be pointed out however, that Ruete held other convictions regarding slaves, since she greatly objected to the decision that they should be suddenly emancipated e·man·ci·pate  
tr.v. e·man·ci·pat·ed, e·man·ci·pat·ing, e·man·ci·pates
1. To free from bondage, oppression, or restraint; liberate.

 in Zanzibar, considering it a move that was against the normal system followed by many countries. (25)


One of the fascinating descriptions cited in Montagu's Letters was her account of the Turkish baths that she witnessed in Turkey. Montagu tries to break all the misconceptions prevalent at the time of picturing the East as an erotic and sensual place. She gives an oriental picture of a highly secluded place not yet revealed by any writer before, saying that in a Turkish bath there were:
   ... so many fine women naked, in different postures, some in
   conversation, some working, others drinking coffee or sherbet,
   and many negligently lying on their cushions, while their
   slaves (generally pretty girls of seventeen or eighteen) were
   employed in braiding their hair in several pretty fancies. In
   short, it is the women's coffee-house, where all the news of
   the town is told, scandal invented, [& c.-] They generally take
   this diversion once a-week, and stay there at least four or five
   hours.... 'Tis no less than death for a man to be found in one of
   these places (106).

Unlike the older coffeehouses in Istanbul where dynamic literary activity and criticism were seen, Turkish coffeehouses in England only started to appear in the 17th century. Historically speaking Historically Speaking is a 1951 recording by baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, who is joined by pianist George Wallington. Track listing
  1. Ide's Side
  2. Roundhouse
  3. Kaper
  4. Bweebida Bobbida
  5. Funhouse
  6. Mulligan's Too
, baths in the East originated much earlier than those found in the West. Philip Hitti, for instance, confirmed in The Arabs, when Arab scientists in the city of Cordova Cordova, Spain: see Córdoba. , "enjoyed luxurious baths, ... washing the body was considered a dangerous custom at the University of Oxford." (26) In England, the first Turkish bath was established in 1650 by a Turkish Jew called Jacobs. Thomas Macaulay (1800-1859) within the History of England from the Accession of James II James II, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona
James II, c.1260–1327, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (1291–1327), king of Sicily (1285–95).
, Vol. 1 mentioned that coffeehouses in the seventeenth century had a tremendous influence upon the political life, saying that they were "the chief organs through which the public opinion of the metropolis vented itself." By 1739, there were 551 coffeehouses in England but women were forbidden to enter them. As a matter of fact, Montagu satirized England and its society for limiting the freedom of British women, because they did not take part in these important social gatherings where different intellectual and political topics were discussed. (27) On the other hand, she emphasized the fact that the Turkish baths played an important role in connecting people to share views and exchange ideas. Women were able to cathartically express their worries and concerns in these baths and closely bond. This fact was strongly pointed out by David Urquhart, who stressed that Turkish society was able to rid itself of many social ills via using these baths. Therefore, he strived to establish the London and Turkish Bath Company on 19 November 1860 and later built the first Turkish bath in London. (28)

In describing the manners of women, Montagu said that more than two hundred ladies bathing did not show any sign of contempt or looked at her with surprise or scorn though she used to wear her distinguished Western clothes. Instead, she was welcomed "with all the obliging o·blig·ing  
Ready to do favors for others; accommodating.

o·bliging·ly adv.
 civility possible" without observing any "disdainful dis·dain·ful  
Expressive of disdain; scornful and contemptuous. See Synonyms at proud.

dis·dainful·ly adv.
 smiles" or listening to "satiric whispers." Montagu concludes by saying: "I know no European court European Court could mean:
  • the European Court of Justice (ECJ), an institution of the European Union (EU) for the resolution of disputes under EU law, based in Luxembourg.
 where the ladies would have behaved themselves so polite a manner to a stranger" (105).

But some critics focused their criticism of the Letters on the presumed erotic notions that was previously stirred by the translation of the Arabian Nights (1702-1714). In reality, the fictitious details of the Nights were highly responsible for forming a sensually romantic image of Muslim women in the East, by presenting belly dancers, submissive women, slaves, and an abundance of harem. Such views expressed a Western male admiration and deep yearning to have concubines and to practice polygamy polygamy: see marriage.

Marriage to more than one spouse at a time. Although the term may also refer to polyandry (marriage to more than one man), it is often used as a synonym for polygyny (marriage to more than one woman), which appears
. Norman Daniel elaborates through Islam, Europe and Empire saying that these "highly coloured pictures provide inexpensive satisfaction to the deeper instincts, the murky sensualism, the unconscious masochism masochism (măs`əkĭzəm), sexual disorder in which sexual arousal is derived from subjection to physical and emotional degradation.  and sadism of the peaceful Western bourgeoisie." (29) Thus, the popularity of Montagu's Letters could be due to the description of the Eastern harems and their bath communities, but interpreting her work in terms of eroticism Eroticism

novel of Alexandrian manners by Pierre Louys. [Fr. Lit.: Benét, 783]

Ars Amatoria

Ovid’s treatise on lovemaking. [Rom. Lit.
 shows a misunderstanding of her work.

As in Montagu's descriptions, Ruete also attempted to describe Turkish and Persian baths available at Zanzibar and specifically in the Bet il Mtoni, or the palace. The writer mentioned that these baths were the "favorite resort with all the people in the house," spending several hours a day "to pray, sleep, work, and read there, even to take their meals; and from four o'clock Noun 1. four o'clock - any of several plants of the genus Mirabilis having flowers that open in late afternoon
flower - a plant cultivated for its blooms or blossoms

genus Mirabilis, Mirabilis - four o'clocks
 in the morning till midnight they were never empty" (2). Upon entering the baths, Ruete observes that there are "two raised resting-places.., to the right and left for prayer and repose, which are covered with the finest colored mats" (2). Ruete failed to give a detailed account of the practices followed in the baths, and she could not reach Montagu's refined style and colorful description, which could be partly due to the writers' different literary backgrounds.

In conclusion, Montagu and Ruete are considered landmarks of Western Oriental writings. Montagu, stands in contrast to a great number of other travelers who have attempted to give a picture of the East stemming from their preconceived pre·con·ceive  
tr.v. pre·con·ceived, pre·con·ceiv·ing, pre·con·ceives
To form (an opinion, for example) before possessing full or adequate knowledge or experience.
 stereotypes. As Arthur J. Weitzman stated, Montagu "pierced the myths of orient by refusing to demonize de·mon·ize  
tr.v. de·mon·ized, de·mon·iz·ing, de·mon·iz·es
1. To turn into or as if into a demon.

2. To possess by or as if by a demon.

 the Turks" and when "she looked at the "other" she saw herself." (30)

Ruete, seemed to follow Montagu's steps. Analogies between them are very close. Ruete also wanted her Memoirs to score high sales to save her money for raising her children. Being aware of the reception of Montagu's book, Ruete may have imitated the gist of the Letters, by alluding to the German and British societies in her comparisons to the East. However, she also gave her work a unique touch with the perspectives she presented as an Arab lady. She also prophetically imagines how the West will hastily try to (democratize de·moc·ra·tize  
tr.v. de·moc·ra·tized, de·moc·ra·tiz·ing, de·moc·ra·tiz·es
To make democratic.

) the Muslim world in order to create another copy of its culture. She claims that the East is different and any plan to force a change is doomed to fail .... "I am firmly convinced, Arab born and bred Born and Bred is a light-hearted British drama series that aired for four series on BBC One from 2002 to 2005. It was created by Chris Chibnall and Nigel McCrery. The cast was led by James Bolam and Michael French, who played a father and son who run a cottage hospital in  as I am, that all efforts on the part of Europeans to do away, at a sweep, with the incarnate in·car·nate  
a. Invested with bodily nature and form: an incarnate spirit.

b. Embodied in human form; personified: a villain who is evil incarnate.
 ignorance of Mahometans, and to fly the flag of science and learning, with even the smallest amount of precipitation, will meet with barren effect" (78-8). Her insight could be highly valuable in understanding the current cultural and intellectual gap that exists between the East and the West.


(1.)Geoffrey P. Nash, From Empire to Orient: Travelers to the Middle East 1830-1926 (London: I. B. Tauris, 2005).

(2.) Albert Hourani Albert Habib Hourani (Arabic: ألبرت حبيب حوراني) (March 31, 1915 – January 17, 1993) was one of the most prominent scholars of Middle Eastern history for much of the second half of the , Western Attitudes Towards Islam (Southampton: The Tenth Montefiore Memorial Lecture, 1974).

(3.) E. Grislis, "Luther and the Turks", The Muslim World, Vol. LXIV, No. 3 (July 1974), pp. 180-193. The word "mammet" stood for an idol worshipper. Amid the conflict between the Protestants and Catholics, mammet was used by the Protestants in a derogatory manner to denote "an image of Christ or of a saint, etc., as used in Roman Catholic practice." See Oxford English Dictionary Oxford English Dictionary

(OED) great multi-volume historical dictionary of English. [Br. Hist.: Caught in the Web of Words]

See : Lexicography
 Online, Draft Revision, March 2001, s.v. "mammet."

(4.) The letter was sent on the 2nd of July 1840. See Thomas Carlyle, The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson Vol. 1 (1834-1872) (New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
: Biblio Bazaar, 2007).

(5.) Oxford English Dictionary Online, Second Edition 1989, s.v. "Turk." Noteworthy, the names "mammet" the distortion of the Prophet Mohammed's name and "Turk" also used to refer in England during the 16th and 17th centuries to a scarecrow Scarecrow

goes to Wizard of Oz to get brains. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz]

See : Ignorance


can’t live up to his name. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Am.
 or a 'hideous image to frighten children; a bugbear." See Oxford English Dictionary Online, Draft Revision, March 2001, s.v. "mammet."

(6.) Said Amir Arjomand, "Coffeehouses, Guilds and Oriental Despotism In sociology, Oriental Despotism is a polemical term used to describe a despotic form of government that opposes the western tradition. Historically, the term's meaning has varied and today it is hardly ever used at all, largely because of all the issues surrounding the concept of  Government and Civil Society in Late 17th to Early 18th Century Istanbul and Isfahan, and as Seen from Paris and London," European Journal European Journal is a weekly Deutsche Welle (DW) news program produced in English. It is broadcast from Brussels, Belgium and primarily covers political and economic developments across the European Union and the rest of Europe, as well as issues of particular concern to  of Sociology, Vol. XLV, No. 1 (2004), 23-42.

(7.) Byron Porter Smith, Islam in English Literature English literature, literature written in English since c.1450 by the inhabitants of the British Isles; it was during the 15th cent. that the English language acquired much of its modern form.  (New York: Caravan Books, 1977).

(8.) A. Secor, "Orientalism, Gender and Class in Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Turkish Embassy Letters: to persons of distinction, men of letters and c," Cultural Geographies, Vol. 6, Issue 4 (1999), 375-398.

(9.) Daniel Defoe, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Being the Second and Last Part of his Life, And Strange Surprizing Accounts of his Travels Round Three Parts of the Globe. Written by Himself. The Second Edition. To which is added a Map of the World, in which is Delineated the Voyages of Robinson Crusoe (London: W. Taylor, 1719).

(10.) Henry Fielding, The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews And His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987). See also Isobel Grundy, "Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley, 1689–1762, English author, noted primarily for her highly descriptive letters. She was the daughter of the first duke of Kingston. In 1712 she married Edward Wortley Montagu, who became ambassador to Turkey in 1716.  (bap. 1689, d. 1762)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published from 1885. The updated Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB , Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 14 June 2007 <>.

(11.) James Boswell, Life of Johnson Life of Johnson (1791) is a biography of Dr. Samuel Johnson by James Boswell. It is regarded as an important stage in the development of the modern genre of biography; many have claimed it as the greatest biography written in English.  (London: Oxford University Press, 1998).

(12.) Mary Wortley Montagu, Letters (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984). Henceforth, all quotations from the Letters refer to this edition, therefore only page numbers are cited within the text.

(13.) Emily Ruete Emily Ruete (1844-1924) was born in Zanzibar as Sayyida Salme, Princess of Zanzibar and Oman. She was a daughter of Sayyid Said bin Sultan Al-Busaid, Sultan of Zanzibar and Oman. , Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar (New York: Markus Wiener Publishing, 1989). Henceforth, all quotations from the Memoirs refer to this edition, therefore only page numbers are cited within the text.

(14.) The Muslim character, Mufti Abdalla, in Dryden's play mentions: Our law says plainly, women have no souls.' See John Dryden, The Works of John Dryden: Illustrated with Notes, Historical, Critical, and Explanatory and a Life of the Author Vol. VII (London: William Miller William Miller or Bill Miller may refer to (items are alphabetized according to the word in boldface): Australia
  • William Miller (Australian athlete) (1847-1939)
  • Bill Miller (film producer)
  • William Miller (minister) (1815-1874)
, 1808). See also Smith, Islam in English Literature.

(15.) Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (London: Penguin Classics, 2004).

(16.) Edward Raymond Turner, "The Women's Suffrage The term women's suffrage refers to an economic and political reform movement aimed at extending suffrage — the right to vote — to women. The movement's origins are usually traced to the United States in the 1820s.  Movement in England," The American Political Science Review The American Political Science Review (APSR) is the flagship publication of the American Political Science Association and the most prestigious journal in political science. , Vol. 7, No. 4 (November 1913), 588-609.

(17.) Srinivas Aravamudan, "Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in the Hammam: Masquerade, Womanliness, and Levantinization," ELH ELH English Literary History
ELH North Eleuthera, Bahamas (Airport Code)
ELH Entity Life History (database)
ELH Early Life History
ELH Epic Level Handbook (Dungeons and Dragons) 
, Vol. 62, No. 1 (1995), 69-104.

(18.) Wollstonecraft, A Vindication.

(19.) The Holy Quran states: "From His revelation is creating wives from yourselves so that you belong to each other, and He planted love and mercy in your hearts. These are signs for thinking men." (30 A1-Rum (The Greeks): 21) Besides, one of the Prophet Mohammed's sayings is that "Women are the divisions of men" to emphasize the bond that exists between the two sexes. For more information, see Mustapha Al-Saba'ai, Al-Mara' aa Bain Al-Fiqah Wa Al-Qanoon (The Woman Between Law and Islamic Legislation) (Beirut: Al-Maktab Al-Islami, n.d.).

(20.) G. M. Wickens, "Introduction to the Middle East" in R. M. Savory, ed., Introduction to Islamic Civilization Islamic civilization may refer to:
  • Islamic Golden Age
  • Muslim world
  • Arab Empire
 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press (known colloquially as CUP) is a publisher given a Royal Charter by Henry VIII in 1534, and one of the two privileged presses (the other being Oxford University Press). , 1976).

(21.) Henry Charles Carey, The Slave Trade: Why it Exists, and How it May Be Extinguished (Philadelphia: H. C. Baird, 1867).

(22.) Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, Travels in Arabia Comprehending an Account of those Territories in Hedjaz which the Mohammedans Regards as Sacred (London: Henry Colburn, 1829). See also Stanley Lane-Poole, "Burckhardt, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, Johann Ludwig or John Lewis (yōhän` lt`vĭkh b  (1784-1817)," rev. Elizabeth Baigent, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 10 June 2007, <http://www.oxforddnb.comlviewlarticle13957>.

(23.) Burckhardt, Travels in Arabia.

(24.) Richard F. Burton, Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah, Vol. I, Edited by Isabel Burton, Memorial Edition (London: Tylston and Edwards, 1893). Similarly, Dr. Alexander Russell, who worked as a physician to the British factory at Aleppo, stated in his The Natural History of Aleppo (1756) that the slaves in Syria were never compelled to convert to Islam. See Smith, Islam in English Literature.

(25.) When Ruete's brother, Sultan Barghash, went to England to sign a treaty of the abolition of the slave trade in 1873, she protested the move and clearly mentioned that the decision was taken because of British political pressures. When she returned to Zanzibar, she found that the slaves could not leave their former work and preferred to remain with their masters because a state of chaos overwhelmed the whole country. Following the death of her father, Sultan Said ibn Sultan, a split occurred in the Omani empire. Ruete's other brother, Sultan Majid, later succeeded by Barghash, controlled Zanzibar, while Imam Thuwaini ruled over Muscat Muscat, Maskat, or Masqat (all: mŭs`kăt, mŭs`kət), city (1993 pop. 533,774), capital of Oman, SE Arabia, on the Gulf of Oman. It is flanked by rugged mountains.  and Oman. Despite the aforementioned treaty, Sultan Barghash, did not prohibit, till his death in 1888, the slave trade, but everything changed when Zanzibar became a British Protectorate protectorate, in international law
protectorate, in international law, a relationship in which one state surrenders part of its sovereignty to another. The subordinate state is called a protectorate.
 in 4 November 1890. Richard Burton noticed that even the "Imam of Maskat," at that time, Sayyid say·yid  
n. Islam
1. Used as a title and form of address for a male dignitary.

2. Used as a title for a descendant of the family of Muhammad.
 Faisal bin Turki Many men have had the name Faisal bin Turki. They include:
  • Faisal bin Turki (1864-1913), Sultan of Muscat and Oman
  • Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud, ancestor of the current House of Saud
 (1864-1913) who "voluntarily have made a treaty with...[the British] for the suppression of this vile [slave] trade .... allow[ed] so extensive an importation [of African slaves] to his dominions." It seems that the Muscat-British abolition of slavery treaty signed on 14 April 1873 was made only to satisfy the British government without necessarily changing the Sultan's previous policies and long centuries of slave trading. See Burton, Personal Narrative, and Howard Hazen Wilson, "Some Principal Aspects of British Efforts to Crush the African Slave Trade, 1807-1929," The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 44, No. 3 (July 1950), 505-526. See also Moses D. E. Nwulia, "The Role of Missionaries in the Emancipation of Slaves in Zanzibar." The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 60, No. 2 (April 1975), 268-287.

(26.) Philip Hitti, The Arabs (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1943).

(27.) Arjomand, "Coffeehouses, Guilds and Oriental Despotism." And n.a., "Early Notices of Coffee in England: From Broadsides in the Luttrel Collection," accessed 7 June 2007. <>. See also Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James II, Vol. 1 (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1848).

(28.) John Potvin, "Vapour and Steam: The Victorian Turkish Bath, Homosocial Health, and Male Bodies on Display," Journal of Design History, Vol. 18, No. 4 (2005), 319-333.

(29.) Norman Daniel, Islam, Europe and Empire (Edinburgh: University Press, 1962).

(30.) Arthur J. Weitzman, "Voyeurism Voyeurism
See also Eavesdropping.


turned into stag for watching Artemis bathe. [Gk. Myth.: Leach, 8]

elders of Babylon

watch Susanna bathe.
 and Aesthetics in the Turkish Bath: Lady Mary's School of Female Beauty", Comparative Literature Studies, Vol. 39, No. 4 (2002), 347-359.

Ahmed K. Al-Rawi is an Assistant Professor on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Sohar University, Oman.
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Author:Rawi, Ahmed K. Al-
Publication:Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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