Monday, May 21, 2018

Straight Chatting from the Library: A Maiden's Honor by Josanna Thompson

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Josanna Thompson will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


High Fashion during the Ottoman Empire

If you ask historians and fans of historical fiction about pre-twentieth century women’s fashion, they are likely to describe 18th century courtiers dressed in elegant gowns. Others may describe the sweet dresses worn during the Regency period. I imagine that they would all say that no self-respecting woman wore breeches – ever. That was European fashion. The Ottoman women had a very different definition about what was considered fashionable during that age. The fashion sensibility from both cultures shared similarities.

The Commonalities of European and Ottoman fashion:

Here's what Ottoman and European fashion had in common:

• Women from both cultures covered their bodies from head to toe.
• They also dressed in layers.
• Women from these regions wore a chemise, except Ottomans called theirs, gömleks. The design was similar in that the garment hung loosely from the woman’s shoulders and reached her mid-calf.
• Women wore hats and shoes.

That's the extent of the similarities between the two cultures.

Now for the Differences:

The Ottoman women didn’t wear corsets or stockings. Instead, they wore loose-fitting trousers called salvars, which tied at the waist and were cuffed around the ankles. The next layer consisted of a cream-colored, silk shirt called a bürümcük. These shirts were worn draped over their salvar and were often floor-length. The inner kaftan or entari served as the outer layer to the Ottoman woman’s attire. This was a long-sleeve jacket with a u-shaped neckline. The kaftans were usually made from brightly-colored brocaded silk, or velvet, or a brocaded silk with silver or gold thread woven into the fabric. In the winter, their entaris were lined with luxurious fur, like sable. Finally, Ottoman women always wore veils to cover their heads and faces whenever they went out in public.

While fashion evolved throughout the ages in most cultures, women’s fashion in the Ottoman Empire didn’t change much until the mid-19th century. After that, women adopted aspects of Parisian fashion into their own styles. Their fashion has evolved ever since.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this article about women’s fashion of the Ottoman Empire. Stay tuned for future blogs containing glimpses into the world of A Maiden’s Honor.


Sarah Campbell is a rarity among women in her time. Raised by her Scottish father and the natives of a remote island in the South Pacific, Sarah and her father embark on a perilous journey to Scotland. Their crew betrays them and murders her father for the purpose of selling Sarah into slavery. She is rescued by an unlikely hero, Hassan Aziz, the most feared pirate on the Barbary Coast. She quickly discovers that she is unprepared for the complex world that is suddenly thrust upon her. Sarah must find a way to survive in a world that intrigues and terrifies her.


Cora studied Naa’il. “May I ask you a personal question?”

“That depends on the question.” Naa’il’s posture stiffened.

“Do you love your second wife?”

“Yes,” Naa’il said without hesitation.

“Don’t you owe it to her to investigate whether or not she was telling the truth?”

“I know what I saw. Our laws are clear, Cora. Samina must be punished,” Naa’il said bitterly.

“Then I suppose that I should be put to death too.”

“This is different,” Naa’il snapped.

“Why? We are not related, yet we are alone. We have even shared a bed.”

“You are my slave; you must obey me.”

“I see.” Cora grimaced. “Regarding your wife, permit me to give you something to ponder.”

“Continue.” Naa’il flicked his hand in the air.

“Why do you post a guard outside your wife’s door?”

“He is there to protect her.”

“Precisely. When a soldier hears a scream from the person that he is assigned to protect, he is not going to hesitate to ascertain why, for he fears that delaying, even for a moment, may kill her. Likewise, when a woman is frightened, she is not going to delay her scream long enough to cover herself, especially if an intruder is attacking her. My point is Your Excellency, if you love your wife, love her enough to try to confirm her story. If she is truly innocent, then perhaps she and her guard deserve mercy.”


Josanna Thompson is the author of A Maiden's Honor and The Woman from Eden series. She has lived in many different places in the United States, including the Southeast, the Midwest, California, and the Northeast. When she is not writing; she enjoys traveling, exploring, and scuba diving.

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  1. I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win :)

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I so appreciate your stopping by and leaving a comment.

  2. Good morning everyone.

    Happy Monday to you! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

    To the folks at Straight from the Library - Thanks for hosting this ebook tour stop.

    Thanks to the folks at Goddess Fish - Thanks for organizing my ebook tour.

    An last but not least - to the readers. Thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to leave a comment. I'll be around all day. I would love to hear from you.

    Have a glorious day!

  3. Thanks for hosting. What book would you like to see a prequel to? Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

    1. Hmmm. That's a good question. I think I would like to see a prequel for The Scarlet Pimpernel.

      I would also like to write a prequel to my story. This story would cover how Sarah's parents met and their decision to move to the South Seas. I'm hoping that I'll turn this story a serial.

      Thanks for asking, Joseph.

  4. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

    1. Hi Rita,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. So glad you enjoy today's post.

  5. Really great post, I enjoyed checking it out :)

    1. Thanks, Victoria. I'm so glad you enjoyed my post.

  6. To everyone from Straight from the Library - thanks for hosting this ebook tour stop. I had a great time.