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 Post subject: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:05 am 
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Clan Fraser
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Pawn in Frankincense
by Dorothy Dunnett

© 1966 - © 1994

Chapter 18: Constantinople

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Map of Istanbul/Constantinople

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Aerial View of the Topkapi Palace Grounds



We’re not in Hexham any more Fippy! “When in doubt, curtsy.”

It appears Philippa has settled into her new life in the Seraglio. The chapter begins with her diary entry to her mother, who will most likely never read it. Her relationship with Kuzúm has grown into a loving guardian and child bond based on trust and love. Most importantly we learn the child has “round cornflower eyes,” “thick silky hair,” and “a universal and boundless good will” (p. 276, 277 Vintage pb). Kuzúm has been loved by Madame Donati and taught to speak English, a language which someone else had introduced to the child long ago (p. 278). Philippa’s opinion of Mr. Crawford has improved as she realizes he is more than a professional mercenary. He is a highly educated man who possesses great knowledge about many things, including Constantinople, St. Sophia, Topkapi, and the Sublime Porte. What he taught her earlier has served her well as both Philippa and Kuzúm learn to adapt to their new home. They are accompanied by another Child of Tribute, Tulip, who is all of 8-years old and had been hired by Donati to help care for Kuzúm because of his ability to speak not only Arabic but English as well.

Philippa is taken to see the Kislar Agha, the Chief of the Black Eunuchs and supreme head of the harem. She is questioned about her age, virginity, and the languages she speaks, but the only thing that matters to Philippa is that she be able to remain with Kuzúm. She graciously accepts her new name – Pearl of Fortune – and has reservations about the next interview with the Mistress who is also controller and head house keeper of the harem, as well as the Kislar Agha’s own deputy.

Philippa reminds “herself that the boy was his mother’s unwanted firstborn; born into danger and loneliness; and that he has no one else” and proceeds to meet The Mistress of the Harem who is no one other than Kiaya Khátún herself. (p. 284) Philippa recognizes the warm aroma and face of The Mistress immediately and asks her if she meant to have her and the child come to the Seraglio. Philippa receives no answer, however she is told the Dame de Doubtchance had insisted that she enter the Seraglio because it would benefit Philippa. Leaving the Seraglio is not as easy as Philippa imagines. Although she eventually may be allowed leave, Kuzúm will not because his destiny has already been determined. He will be trained to achieve the highest order and will become a eunuch.

Güzel advises Philippa to keep her knowledge of the Turkish language hidden for now and to keep their acquaintance a secret. Philippa is about to embark on a life of high honor and will soon cross paths with the Sultan’s wife, Roxelana, but first she must be cleaned, rubbed, pomaded, and polished. She keeps her sense of humor and gets through the cleansing because she knows she will soon be reunited with the little boy whose eyes are as blue as the sea.

While Philippa embarks on her adventure, Lymond is determined to reach Constantinople as quickly as humanly possible. Since Thessalonika his moods have been unpredictable. The death of Salablanca has affected him deeply, but he nevertheless is resolved to find and rescue Philippa and the children. His army will have to wait for his return until then. OZ convinces Lymond to have his shoulder wound treated for it has started to bleed and is infected. OZ even volunteers one of his own men to personally assist his master with his grooming and attire. Lymond is in no position to argue and through OZ’s solicitous hand, is restored to health.

Lymond makes the required stop in Hellespont, but finds the French Envoy to Constantinople, M. Chesnau, sick with fever, so he moves along to the castles of Flora and St. Stephano, sending word to d’Aramon of his arrival. The Dauphiné finally reaches Stamboul with guns firing and trumpets playing that do not go unnoticed by Kuzúm and Pearl of Fortune. Philippa sees the dearly familiar lily banner of France and the Crawford of Lymond and Sevigny coat of arms in blue and silver and scarlet. Philippa and Kuzúm’s brief exchange is innocently sweet but significant – “It is all butter no, Fippy: is it?” “It’s all better, my lambkin, . . . It’s all better; or if it isn’t, it doesn’t matter a docken” (p. 293).

Gifts are exchanged between Lymond and his hosts, the Deputy Vizier and the Chief Dragoman of the Porte. OZ’s bottle of Mudanian wine provides a sense of goodwill all around, and Lymond is granted an audience with the Sultan Suleiman in about a week’s time. Next Lymond meets with d’Aramon and the Baron de Luetz, present Ambassador and longtime servant of France in the Sublime Porte. The timing of their arrival and that of the elaborate gift from France is unfortunate because the Sultan is preparing to march to Persia to fight a war and France’s need for support to attack Florence and Corsica is clearly a low priority for Dragut. As a bottle of Muscat flows freely, D’Aramon discloses the army marched south in the late summer under Rustem Pasha, the Grand Vizier who is married to Roxelana’s daughter, in order to defend the eastern borders against inroads made by the Shah. They passed through Amasiya, the lands ruled by Prince Mustafa, heir of the throne and son of the Sultan’s first concubine, Gulbehar. Prince Mustafa is suspected of conspiring against the Sultan.

Lymond explains he has a petition of his own to present to the Sultan and that if it is not accepted he will have to resign as Ambassador. If this should occur, Lymond strongly advises that no other appointment be made until the situation with Roxelana is resolved. He reveals his plan to remove two people from the Seraglio, family friends including a girl and one of the Children of Tribute. While Lymond is distracted by a nearby commotion, OZ takes the liberty of telling d’Aramon that the child is Lymond’s son.

Lymond is escorted each day through town by d’Aramon while the new Ambassador waits to meet with the Sultan. One evening they are late for dinner and decide to dine in a Greek tavern. Afterwards Lymond suggests they return by horse instead of walking. The journey appears to have been too draining for him. Upon arriving at the Embassy, d’Aramon notices that “from the roots of his damp yellow hair, all Crawford’s skin was sparkling with sweat” (p. 299). OZ later explains to d’Aramon that Lymond is recovering from a shoulder wound and should dine in the Embassy each day. Of course, d’Aramon agrees and hopes that Tuesday’s ceremony will not be too much for him. OZ reassures him Lymond will have no difficulty whatsoever.


Phillipa has slowly but surely bonded with Kuzúm who is loveable with his sweet babble and big cornflower eyes. She also has accepted her new name, Pearl of Fortune, and unexpected fate fairly well. She enters the Seraglio a ragged mess and by the time Lymond’s ship arrives, we read about her shining hair. Her transformation has begun both inside and out.

It is amazing how quickly Güzel is able to travel from one place to another. She is the master of many trades and will hopefully guide Philippa in her new environment.

Following several exchanges between Lymond and d’Aramon regarding the Sultan and his family members, d’Aramon thinks to himself “He had it, damn him” when Lymond mentions Rustem Pasha is married to Roxelana’s daughter. (p. 295 Vintage pb) What exactly does Lymond have? Confidential or sensitive information?

Lymond is in fairly good physical health, all things considered, so why does he request the horses to return to the Embassy? His shoulder injury should be on the mend and is unlikely to cause over exhaustion. Yet, Lymond does appear to be unwell given how profusely he is perspiring.

Why does Onophrion reveal to d’Aramon that the child Lymond seeks is his own?

What did you find interesting about this chapter?


Useful Resources:

For information about life in a seraglio click here.

Images of the Topkapi Palace interior can be seen here.

Facts about the life of the Sultan Sulemain can be found here, as well as a portrait of Roxelana for anyone interested in seeing what she looked like.

Ragna, Mother of Worm : https://books.google.com/books?id=qIVJA ... rm&f=false
Scroll up one page (p.456) to see the original reference to Ragna. Philippa compares herself to Ragna at the beginning of the chapter.

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:44 pm 
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Lady Jayne, thanks for the summary and the map, which is very helpful. The pictures of the Topkapi Palace made me realise I have been there, many years ago, when I visited Istanbul with my parents. I remember Hagia Sophia very well, and the courtyards of the Topkapi Palace, but I had forgotten the interior.

KK can certainly get around! She seems to be an important figure in many places; I wonder why?
I'm not clear whose side she is on, but telling Philippa to pretend not to understand Turkish sounds like good advice. Poor Kuzum, destined to be a eunuch! :cry:

I am surprised that Philippa did not know Lymond was well-educated. What did she expect from Sybilla's son? Or was she too busy hating his murderous ways to think of him as a person?

I think there is something going on with Lymond's conversations and actions with d'Aramon, but I can't figure out. I was surprised that Lymond showed weakness over a shoulder wound. Has he been poisoned? Is he pretending to be weaker than he is?

What does this mean?
Lady Jayne wrote:
Lymond strongly advises that no other appointment be made until the situation with Roxelana is resolved.

What situation? Did I miss something, or is that yet to be revealed?

I noticed this from the webpage about Suleiman:
Quote:
Suleyman also had his cruel and capricious side. He often ordered the execution of prsioners after a battle and began the customs of not speaking to foreign diplomats when they presented their credentials.

So maybe he won't see Lymond and Gaultier will be left holding his elaborate clock.

So far, nobody has said that Philippa cannot be rescued from the seraglio, so I am hopeful that she can be restored to Kate, cleaner, but unharmed.


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:07 pm 
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I loved the beginning of this chapter with Philippa's letter to Kate (or journal entry or whatever it was). The comment about the name Tulip and then answering to funny names, as she dies to Fippy was adorable. And, it is so lovely to see Kuzum so joyful, too. Philippa is very brave and adapts well to new situations as we see when they arrive and she has to meet with various people and even brings up staying with Kuzum with the Kislar Agha and such. Meeting KK there must have been a shock, but she catches on quickly when KK tells her Turkish is hard to learn so clearly she should pretend not to pick it up quickly. I wonder what Philippa might learn from listening when people assume she can't understand what is said. Sad to hear that Kuzum is destined to be a eunuch, but I'm not convinced that that will be his fate. We know Lymond is coming to try to remove him and Philippa from the seraglio, so we can hope they will both be freed, right? ;) The scene of her being scrubbed, along with being given a new name, reminded me of Ian at the Mohawk village in Drums of Autumn.

It is strange that Lymond is weak enough to need a horse. I thought the infection had cleared, but obviously he is still ill from something. That's concerning because he rarely seems ill, except when he was poisoned back in QP. Interesting that OZ tells D'Aramon that the child is Lymond's son and that he assures him at the end that Lymond will make it to the meeting. I suppose with Jerrott, Salablanca and Archie all gone, he's stepped in as Lymond's main assistant, but it seems like he might be saying more than he should.

Thanks for the various links, Lady Jayne. I haven't looked through all of them yet, but I plan to look around a bit more.


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Lady J, thank you so much for a great summary and introduction to another complicated chapter. :clap: :clap: :clap:

I, too, was surprised OZ told d'Aramon that the boy is Lymond's son. On the one hand, is he trying to let d'Aramon know why the coming petition is so important to Lymond? Or, on the other hand, is OZ in some way trying to undermine Lymond by sharing information that he presumably does not have permission to share? An ambassador should not be carrying out personal business at the Sublime Porte...it's really a no-no, so now d'Aramon knows that Lymond's mission is not really a French mission but his own personal agenda. That has to worry d'Aramon and make him question FC's judgment. I think OZ's motives might be less than pure.

There is clearly an as-yet-untold story about Roxelana, her daughter, Rustem Pasha, and Mustapha...sounds like a classic power play that Lymond is starting to figure out.
Quote:
‘But this autumn the Sultan, here in Constantinople, found reason to believe that Prince Mustafa and the army were conspiring against him?’

So when a'Aramon thinks “He had it, damn him," I assume he realizes that FC has correctly deduced that there is internecine warfare in the Ottoman court. Someone has told the Sultan about a supposed conspiracy against him led by Mustafa (Suleiman's son not by Roxelana) -- and someone has made sure that conspiracy has reached Suleiman's ears. The deduction Lymond makes is the logical one: who would benefit by Mustafa's fall from grace with his father? Roxelana and Rustem Pasha. This is what I think a'Aramon is reacting to. But court intrigue always confuses and bores me, I must admit. It makes my head hurt. Lymond knows he is walking into a vipers' pit.

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:09 pm 
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Lady Jayne-Excellent summary and links!

Whosever son this child Kuzum is, we know that to Philippa, he is the "light of her life"(276). It must be hard for Philippa to know that Lymond and company are close yet so far away. Her reaction at seeing Lymond's standard on the ship is quite strong.

Philippa has really fallen down the rabbit hole this time in her new life at the Seraglio. She seems to be holding her own in her plucky way. I enjoyed Kate's bit of wisdom: "There are four ways to meet persecution. Ignore it, suffer it, do better than they do. Or just make them laugh"(287). :D

Lymond's continued illness is indeed curious and rather worrying.


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:36 pm 
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Since you mentioned Kate's wisdom, I also enjoyed when Philippa thought of "When in doubt, curtsy." :bigsmile: I do love Kate and glad that we get to hear of her even though we haven't seen her in this book. :)


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:11 am 
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DLT, it does seem that Philippa's longstanding hatred of Lymond has blinded her to his many attributes, until now. How lovely that you have visited Istanbul and its main attractions, including the Topkapi Palace.

Clewless, thank you for the clarification about the Ottoman court intrigue that is underway while Lymond's rescue mission unfolds.

Lynn and ABL, Kate's tutelage of her daughter has been put to good use. I am not certain if another young woman would have been able to remain so composed throughout this whole experience. Such projected poise in the face of adversity. In many ways I think of Phiippa as a younger version of Kate. They share many strong characteristics, including their slight infatuation with Lymond. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:40 pm 
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We really get a good look at little Kuzum in this chapter. Of course, the killer piece of information is the "cornflower" blue eyes...like Lymond's and Marthe's (Ch 16, Aleppo). An unusual color. But I am curious if you all think the next sentence refers to Lymond:

Quote:
He was standing at the top of the stairs to her sleeping-quarters, the cone of yellow hair fanned out with exertion; a wary expression in the round cornflower eyes. ‘Hullo?’ he said. That ingratiating tone was all too hideously familiar.

Is it the memory of Lymond's "hideously" ingratiating tone that Philippa is recalling?

Lymond is quoting from Benjamin of Tudela's Travels, a medieval (12th century) travel guide through three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa. I don't know if this book is referenced elsewhere, but it's quite fascinating. It was well known among scholars in the 16th century.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_of_Tudela

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:00 pm 
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Clewless wrote:
We really get a good look at little Kuzum in this chapter. Of course, the killer piece of information is the "cornflower" blue eyes...like Lymond's and Marthe's (Ch 16, Aleppo). An unusual color. But I am curious if you all think the next sentence refers to Lymond:

Quote:
He was standing at the top of the stairs to her sleeping-quarters, the cone of yellow hair fanned out with exertion; a wary expression in the round cornflower eyes. ‘Hullo?’ he said. That ingratiating tone was all too hideously familiar.

Is it the memory of Lymond's "hideously" ingratiating tone that Philippa is recalling?


That's certainly a valid interpretation! I always thought she was just remembering Kuzum's usual tone when he was possibly in trouble and wanted to soften her up. Has Lymond ever been that concerned about what others, especially Philippa, think of him? ;)

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:11 pm 
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pagali wrote:
Quote:
Has Lymond ever been that concerned about what others, especially Philippa, think of him? ;)

:lol: That's why it's "hideous"--that is, Lymond uses his charm and wiles to ingratiate himself with such people as...Kate. Philippa is slowly warming to FC, but she still finds that he makes her tummy ache. Lymond is very good at manipulating people with his charm when he wants to. Philippa spent enough time with him to know that.

On the other hand, I could be entirely misreading this!

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:44 pm 
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Lady Jayne...thank you for the wonderful precis, map, picture and links. And the allusion to Wizard of Oz!!! My own memories of Topkapi were refreshed...I remember being stunned by the beauty of the tiles and decorative pieces but most particularly the jewelry, furnishing, armor & weapons. There was the most fabulous dagger almost covered with diamonds and huge emeralds (not from Suleiman's time though).
I had wondered if Phillippa's letters home and diary were a sort of imaginary record but here quite clearly a book is mentioned!
Quote:
Philippa reminds herself " that the boy was his mother’s unwanted firstborn; born into danger and loneliness; and that he has no one else”
Phillippa has no one else either at the moment except Kuzum and this is a sort of echo of her own situation. Her reaction to seeing the Dauphine's standard unfurl along with FC's colours is such a true reminder of desperate home-sickness. I love her fierce protective spirit and LynnL... I also love the quote about the four ways of dealing with persecution. Darling Dorothy must have read Paul Gallico's book Jennie describing typical cat behaviour..."When in doubt...wash"...curtseying would buy a little time to think too!
Quote:
We're not in Hexham anymore

Even before Thessalonika and the loss of Salablanca :cry: FC's control seems to me to not be quite as complete as before...this terrible Odyssey is starting to feel like it's unravelling a bit. And he is now completely isolated...no Jerrott, no Salablanca, just Gaultier & OZ. Not my choice of travelling companions. The last part of the voyage is painful, FC's untended wound and his slightly erratic behaviour seems untypical of him. Illness, grief and reactive depression? In spite of that, FC has worked out the undercurrents of palace intrigue and impresses D'Aramon in spite of the history between them (Tripoli) and the very in-Ambassadorial request that FC has for the Sultan.
I have this HUGE question. How on earth can OZ categorically say to D'Aramon that the 'child in the Seraglio' is FC's son. How does he know that? or is he just making trouble? OZ is starting to behave a bit oddly too I think...getting a bit above his station!!!
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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:00 pm 
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Clewless wrote:
:lol: That's why it's "hideous"--that is, Lymond uses his charm and wiles to ingratiate himself with such people as...Kate. Philippa is slowly warming to FC, but she still finds that he makes her tummy ache. Lymond is very good at manipulating people with his charm when he wants to. Philippa spent enough time with him to know that.
On the other hand, I could be entirely misreading this!


I see Lymond's relationship to Kate rather differently. I think she's one of the few people he can totally be himself with-- she sees the real man under the facade he offers other people--and that's why he respects and values her. She'd spot it instantly if he tried his "wiles" on her... and would just as quickly challenge him on it. I think that attitude has extended to his dealings with Philippa. He certainly has those skills, and uses them as necessary on other people, though.

No, I still think in this case Philippa is just thinking of Kuzum's typical behavior in this kind of interchange with her. But I appreciate other interpretations too.

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:08 pm 
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Lady Jayne, thank you, thank you for wonderful summary, thorough and clear. :bow: :bow: :bow: Although I have not gone to the links, it is so helpful to have them readily accessible. I didn't want to delay in giving my preliminary thoughts for this chapter so I will take a look later. All the links and the map are so enriching to our understanding of the chapters.

I simply love Kuzum. He is so beautifully the essence of toddler. I can picture his little hands grabbing the spyglass. It was precious and it made me chuckle and long for those days when my little ones would try to grab things out of my grasp.
"I'm a very wet boy." And the tears. It broke my heart to hear him in my mind. And of course Philippa reminds herself of what her mission in life has become, for this abandoned child but for her. What a noble and beautiful soul she has.

I'm not sure what to make of the "hideous" reference to Kuzum's "hullo" At one point Lymond, or perhaps (gasp!) GRM may have said it to Philippa. Anybody recall either in GoK or TDK such an instance? I will have to go back and check.
But I'd agree with Pagali
pagali wrote:
I see Lymond's relationship to Kate rather differently. I think she's one of the few people he can totally be himself with-- she sees the real man under the facade he offers other people--and that's why he respects and values her. She'd spot it instantly if he tried his "wiles" on her... and would just as quickly challenge him on it. I think that attitude has extended to his dealings with Philippa. He certainly has those skills, and uses them as necessary on other people, though.
I firmly believe that Lymond has always been himself around the Somervilles. But it might be that "Hullo" reminds her of a time when she hated Lymond. Maybe the hideousness is that she feels some remorse at having had such a vile reaction towards the man. Perhaps she realizes she was over that top and didn't he really deserve such treatment. In any case the memory probably turns her stomach. She's older now, and may feel horrible about her child like behavior.

Isn't it interesting that the girls who are bathing her think that Philippa is a girl of douze ans? Isn't that what Lymond always thinks her age is?

The cornflower eyes are quite a promising indication that the child belongs to the Crawford side of the family. That the little fellow is bulky could be from Oonagh's side. She was a tall woman--about the same height as Lymond, if I recall.

What a compassionate lamb Philippa is. She bears the knowledge that she and Kuzum will live their lives without the experiences of a normal existence. :(

It was disconcerting to see KK again. What is everyone's agenda? And it's all at others' expense.
Meanwhile OZ is quite overstepping the boundary by revealing personal information. I agree that it could indeed undermine Lymond's mission as he has a conflict of interest. However, Lymond himself revealed that the child is a member of his family. Perhaps OZ thought it might be helpful. I do wonder.

Clewless, I agree that intrigue, outside of Lymond's circle can be boring. I'd rather know more about Lymond's background, family, etc. What it does do is tell us that the timing is poor for Lymond's needs.

I have an awful feeling about Tuesday's meeting, especially with Suleiman to be on his way to Persia. Will he meet him?
I also worry about a repetition of history. I recall Lymond's journey to Wark being impeded by Scott. With so much left to the book, I don't think it will be so easy. I worry it won't occur. :worry:
Lymond should not be so depleted of energy. He has certainly had worse and he's only twenty six. I don't like it. :( :worry:

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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:28 pm 
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pagali wrote:
No, I still think in this case Philippa is just thinking of Kuzum's typical behavior in this kind of interchange with her. But I appreciate other interpretations too.
This was how I interpreted it too. As a parent, I can understand recognizing the tone of a child's voice when they know they've done something wrong, or whatever. :bigsmile:


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 Post subject: Re: DUNNETT: PIF: Chapter 18: Constantinople
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:14 pm 
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Lady Jayne, thank you so much for the links to Topkapi. It brought back a wealth of memories for me too hevva, but then I sat down and read through the chapter with the images open and imagined Philippa's long walk from comparative freedom to seclusion, and wondered what DD's resources were when she wrote this chapter. Not the internet and Pinterest, anyway! She certainly captures the ornateness, the otherness, that Philippa would have enountered. I'm glad she spent a lot of time on this section, because it's beautiful writing but it's also an important milestone on Phillipa's journey.
How's this for the 'Bright tiles in blue and orange and green' - http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-detail ... 31984.html
She was in a long, open-air passage flanked on either side by the doors and windows and arcade pillars of what seemed to be the black eunuch's living quarters, which stretched high on either side, plunging the narrow courtyard deeply into shadow. http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-detail-of-tiles-in-the-harem-topkapi-palace-istanbul-turkey-europe-20531984.html
I guess Phillipa's growing awareness of Lymond is another sign of her growing maturity. She has regarded him as some old friend of her mothers, but I take this briefing on Constantinople as another attempt by Lymond to establish a better relationship with Philippa. Apart from the instance when she takes him wine and he tosses it overboard, Lymond has been pretty patient and considerate with her.

Clewless, I puzzled a while over the politics discussed between D'Aramon and Lymond, so appreciate the interpretation. I assume that Lymond wants a delay in any other Ambassadorial appointment because if there's to be a palace coup, it would be better if France was out of the mix while it happened?
hevva wrote:
I had wondered if Phillippa's letters home and diary were a sort of imaginary record but here quite clearly a book is mentioned!
Check back to the opening lines of Ch 13 - 'The beginning of the diary was one of several formidable steps she took, with Mikal's help, after AA and Sheemy had departed' - same chapter time as she acquired those memorable red leather shoes you kindly posted the picture of. Although I'm not sure why a diary would qualify as a formidable step?
Clewless wrote:
We really get a good look at little Kuzum in this chapter. Of course, the killer piece of information is the "cornflower" blue eyes...like Lymond's and Marthe's (Ch 16, Aleppo). An unusual color.
My eyes popped at that one. Sybilla, Lymond and Marthe are all referenced as having cornflower blue eyes across the books so far. Another line worth paying attention to is Kuzum's learning of English - 'a grounding in English which someone else had also obviously begun, long ago.' If this is Oonagh's child, she rejected and tried to kill him, so it wasn't her.

Random thought on Philippa's new name - Pearl of Fortune. KK is often associated with pearls - another clue as to KK's involvement in getting Philippa here?

One other little mystery right at the end of this chapter when Lymond is - disturbingly - unwell. 'He (Lymond) said something, he remembered, and stood watching as the new Ambassador, withdrawing his hand, smiled and turned into his own private chamber. Later, d'Aramon was thinking about it again, in his own study, when the fat Swiss steward scratched on the door and then entered.' I bet that oblique little passage is coming back to haunt us sometime soon. I'm glad that D'Aramon is impressed by his replacement; I guess Ambassador at age 26 might mean D'Aramon was going to take some convincing that high-handed Lymond was up to the role.

I love this chapter - it's got plot and mystery and great one liners and awesome descriptions. Great job summarising it for us Lady Jayne.


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