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The poet, novelist and travel writer Edmondo de Amicis (1846-1908) began his career as a soldier, before switching to journalism. He is now best remembered for his collection of children's stories Heart of a Boy.
De Amicis's account of this great, even "monstrous", city is wonderfully eloquent: as restless and busy as Constantinople itself, teeming with the sights, sounds and smells of one of the greatest and most diverse cities on Earth. * The Guardian * A long work like de Amicis' is more than an average guide: it is a cinematographic view of late 19th century Istanbul. * Time Out Istanbul * Stephen Parkin's translation is assured and lively, catching well the spirit of the original... Edmondo De Amicis's book conjures up the eternal harem of Western imaginings, of alluring Oriental deshabille and sensual decadence behind closed doors. * TLS * I had De Amicis's text ready when I came to Istanbul. For he had seen what I cannot see today. -- Umberto Eco