Synopses & Reviews
An Armchair Traveller's History of Istanbul
is a travel book in the classic tradition of Robert Byron, Evelyn Waugh, Patrick Leigh Fermor and Jan Morris. Tillinghast is an old Istanbul hand who first visited the city fifty years ago and has seen the faded majesty of the city transform into a vibrant, modern metropolis. This historical guide explores the art, architecture, culture, history and cuisine of the city, ranging through the various Byzantine, Ottoman and Turkish roots, all of it framed by the author's own voyages of discovery.
With Tillinghast as a guide through Istanbul's cafes, mosques, palaces and taverns, and along its streets and waterways, readers will feel at home both in the Constantinople of bygone days and on the streets of the modern city. His Istanbul is a place of densely layered memories, where the ghosts of Byzantine emperors, theologians and courtesans rub elbows with Ottoman sultans, poets and dervishes.
"Richard Tillinghast's Istanbul is a well-wrought and admirably clear guide to the history and present-day reality of the Turkish city." Condé Nast Traveller
The great crossroads, Istanbul has absorbed several millennia of different influences; it is both modern and ancient, fluid and constant. Standing at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is a tapestry of the different cultures and ideas that have shaped it over time. It has seen merchants, travelers, different religions, and politics all stamp their mark. Richard Tillinghast has watched the city evolve and he beautifully evokes its many distinct neighborhoods.
The author is an old Istanbul hand who has seen it change over the years from a provincial backwater to today's vibrant metropolis. With Tillinghast as a guide through Istanbul's cafes, mosques and palaces, and along its streets and waterways, readers will feel at home both in the Constantinople of bygone days and on the streets of the modern town.
About the Author
Richard Tillinghast is a travel writer, poet and translator. In 2008 he published Finding Ireland: A Poet's Explorations of Irish Literature and Culture, winner of ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award for Travel Essays. He was awarded the Amy Lowell Travelling Fellowship from Harvard and the Cleanth Brooks Prize for creative non-fiction. He is a 2010-2011 Guggenheim Fellow.