How did you first become interested in Istanbul? I first traveled to Istanbul over thirty years ago. Immediately I was enraptured with the place—a truly cosmopolitan city where history constantly breaks through to the surface of the modern metropolis. As a historian, I was in love! This is a city that has been central to […]Read full article
A Talk with Bettany Hughes, Author of Istanbul
"Groundbreaking...a colossal undertaking...a notable achievement"--Roger Crowley, bestselling author of 1453
"Impressive. In Istanbul, Hughes plays intriguing, sophisticated games with time and space.... By making unlikely connections between well-described locations and events separated by eons, she gives voice to those witchy, diachronic feelings in a spectacular fashion."--The Economist
"Richly entertaining and impeccably researched. Hughes's ebullient book is an ode to three incarnations of the city."--Peter Frankopan, author of the international bestseller The Silk Roads
"Brimming with brio and incident...life-filled and life-affirming history, steeped in romance and written with verve"--Justin Marozzi, award-winning author of Baghdad
"Mesmerizing... Weaves research and insight with understanding and love: here is a book written as much with the heart as the mind."--Elif Shafak, award-winning author of The Bastard of Istanbul
"Hughes is not an argumentative historian. She avoids the debates of academe. She is a wistful and impassioned cosmopolitan who has produced a challenging story."—Financial Times
"A deeply researched biography of a legendary city...A panoramic cultural history of a fascinating place."
"Packs the story of its three iterations-Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul-into one volume, from its earliest settlement in 6000 BC, to the 20th century. Though it sweeps across eight millennia, this glinting mosaic of a book is divided up into short episodic tesserae that evoke vivid aspects of the city's history and demonstrate the long reach of it influence."
"A vibrant, sprawling portrait of a city as enigmatic as it is historically important...Hughes' entertaining narrative style with its visual details, dramatic archaeological discoveries, and cliffhanger chapter endings allows her erudition and exuberance to shine."
—Booklist (starred review)