Ottoman Reflections on Gender, Class and Race in Victorian England: Abdülhak Hamid Tarhan’s Finten
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Abdülhak Hamid Tarhan (1852–1937), who spent more than twenty years of his life in London and India, was the first Ottoman author who made India and the British Empire a frequently visited topic in his literary works. This dissertation explores Hamid’s Finten (1886), his famous drama on London, along with his memoirs and letters that reveal his life in British India (1883–85) and London (1885–94 and 1897–1912). While Hamid’s observations on London and its social structure form the central stage of Finten, the British Empire with its imperial and colonial history provides its backdrop. Based on a close reading of Finten and Hamid’s writings on the British Empire, the dissertation analyzes and discusses class- and race-oriented distinctions that inform metropolitan social relations in Victorian England.