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Author: Namık Kemal (1840 –1888)
Place and Year: İstanbul : Matbaa-i Osmaniye, 1301 [1884].
Code: 67921

8°. 379 pp. reverse collation in Ottoman script, contemporary red cloth binding with gilt embossed crescent and tugra of Abdul Hamid II on the covers, red morocco spine with gilt lettering in Ottoman script, marbled endpapers (slightly age-toned in margins, binding with light staining and slightly scuffed on the edges and spine, old bookseller’s mounted paper stamp on the title page).


A book by one of the founders of the modern Ottoman literature, Namık Kemal, includes three novels: Salah al-Din – on sultan Saladin (1137-1193), Fatih – on sultan Mehmed II, and Sultan Selim. This is the first complete edition of previously separately published stories.

Influenced by the contemporary Western historical books with a negative view of the Ottoman Islamic world, Namık Kemal started presenting the Ottoman history not in a traditional romantic way, but from a new and modern, patriotic point of view, and the sultans as the great leaders, who made foundations of the Ottoman Empire and protected it from the invaders.

Namık Kemal (1840 –1888) is known as one of the pioneers of the modern Ottoman literature, who influenced a new generation of writers. Born as Mehmet Kemal was of Albanian origins, born to chief astrologer in the Sultan’s palace Mustafa Asım Bey and Fatma Zehra.

First working in the governmental translation office Namık was forced to leave due to his radical political views. He joined a secret group the Young Ottomans, seeking further modernizations and reforms, which as they believed were not achieved by the Tanzimat, and was writing for the newspaper Tasvir-i Efkar ("Herald of Ideas"). In 1867 he was exiled to Paris, where he stayed until 1869 or 1870.

Upon his return Namık Kemal continued working on the newspaper and was active as a writer, play-writer and a poet. His works were modern, idealistic and patriotic. In 1973 he wrote his most famous play Vatan Yahut Silistre, or Silistra (Fatherland). Eight days after its premiere at the theater, on April 1, 1873, Namık Kemal was sent to prison to Famagusta, Cyprus, until 1876. Under the rule of Abdul Hamid II Namık Kemal was exiled as many other members of the Young Ottomans, this time to Chios, where he lived until his death in 1888.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk later often pointed out, he was inspired by the Namık Kemal‘s work.

An example in a beautiful contemporary red binding with a an ebmossed gilt tugra of Abdul Hamid II.

References: ABDULLAH UÇMAN, EVRÂK-ı PERÎŞÂN (https://islamansiklopedisi.org.tr/evrak-i-perisan). OCLC 848712332, 42667523, 80999249, 977627961, 949535566, 24365976.

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