The Tiger and the Cauldron(ch11)

Chapter 11 Compared to the upper room, the residence below was luxurious. The walls and floors were decorated with fine oriental carpets and tapestries. The chairs were skilfully carved and upholstered with silk cushions, while on cabinets and small tables were displayed colourful porcelain plates, vases and ampullae. The beds were draped with satin covers. …

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The Tiger and the Cauldron(ch4)

Chapter 4 And what shoulder, and what art could twist the sinews of thy heart? (William Blake) VENICE, ITALY The clash of swords disturbed the tranquillity of the valley. On an open stretch of ground amid sprouting vines, and overlooking a lazy bend in the River Po, two men were exercising vigorously. One was tall, …

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The Tiger and the Cauldron(ch2)

Chapter 2 In the early mornings, the desert air was chill. A sharp breeze blew down from the mountains. With only her body shield for protection, Doquz shivered as she relieved herself beside the homestead wall. She took a few deep breaths. It was good to be in the open again after the stuffiness inside …

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The Tiger and the Cauldron

[In instalments for the first time, to readers of my blog] Prologue Maragha, Persia, 1292 CE Qutb ad-Din Shirazi was master of many things. At once physician, astronomer and mathematician, his wider scholarship embraced history, language and philosophy. Moreover, he had held his post throughout three reigns and was more than three months into a …

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Women Behind the Throne – Part Three

Sorqoqtani - 'Munificence and Benefaction' Shirimun and the sons of Ghaimish opposed the election of Mangke as Great Khan. They prevaricated and would not attend the quriltai to endorse the appointment. When they did at last set out for the Mongol homelands, it was with mischievous intent - or so the contemporary historians would have …

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