Where does a writer look for inspiration when writing a book? When writing historical romance, history itself provides the best inspiration. Imagine the stories that could evolve from Roxelena’s story.
Known to the Western world as Roxelena (or some such spelling), this slave in the Ottoman Sultan’s harem became Haseki Hürrem Sultan, Her Imperial Highness, Imperial Empress of the Ottoman Empire when she married Süleyman the Magnificent, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Little is known of her early life. She was born in 1506 and may have been named Alekandra Lisowska, the daughter of a Ukrainian Orthodox priest in Rohatyn in what is now the
. In the 1520s she was captured by Crimean Tatars and eventually sold as a slave in Ukraine into Suleyman’s harem. Istanbul
She built several public buildings, including baths, schools, fountains, a hospital, and a soup kitchen. She died at
on April 15, 1558 and was buried in a tomb adjacent to her husband’s. Her son Selim who had become an alcoholic, succeeded his father but was a disastrous ruler. Check out the 19 th century Orientalist painting called The Wedding Gift by Rudolph Ernst. Learn more about it on my daily posts at Topkapi Palace ’s Blog at ritabay.com. ‘Til next time. Rita Bay
"Into the Lyon's Den" Champagne Books, August, 2012