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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Lady Brassey

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The trip had been one of continued ovation. Crowds had gathered in every place to see the Sunbeam, and often trim her with flowers from stem to stern. Presents of parrots, and kittens, and pigs abounded, and Lady Brassey had cared tenderly for them all. Christmas was observed on ship-board with gifts for everybody; thoughtfulness and kindness had made the trip a delight to the crew as well as the passengers.

The letters sent home from the Sunbeam were so thoroughly enjoyed by her father and friends, that they prevailed upon her to publish a book, which she did in 1878. It was found to be as full of interest to the world as it had been to the intimate friends, and it passed rapidly through four editions. An abridged edition appeared in the following year; then the call for it was so great that an edition was prepared for reading in schools, in 1880, and finally, in 1881, a twelve-cent edition, that the poor as well as the rich might have an opportunity of reading this fascinating book, Around the World in the Yacht Sunbeam. And now Lady Brassey found herself not only the accomplished and benevolent wife of a member of Parliament, but a famous author as well.

This year, July, 1881, the King of the Sandwich Islands, who had been greatly pleased with her description of his kingdom, was entertained at Normanhurst Castle, and invested Lady Brassey with the Order of Kapiolani.

The next trip made was to the far East, and a book followed in 1880, entitled, Sunshine and Storm in the East; or, Cruises to Cyprus and Constantinople, dedicated "to the brave, true-hearted sailors of England, of all ranks and services."

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The book is intensely interesting. Now she describes the Sultan going to the mosque, which he does every Friday at twelve o'clock. "He appeared in a sort of undress uniform, with a flowing cloak over it, and with two or three large diamond stars on his breast. He was mounted on a superb white Arab charger, thirty-three years old, whose saddle-cloths and trappings blazed with gold and diamonds. The following of officers on foot was enormous; and then came two hundred of the fat blue and gold pashas, with their white horses and brilliant trappings, the rear being brought up by some troops and a few carriages.... Nobody dares address the Sultan, even if he speaks to them, except in monosyllables, with their foreheads almost touching the floor, the only exception being the grand vizier, who dares not look up, but stands almost bent double. He is entirely governed by his mother, who, having been a slave of the very lowest description, to whom his father, Mahmoud II., took a fancy as she was carrying wood to the bath, is naturally bigoted and ignorant.... The Sultan is not allowed to marry, but the slaves who become mothers of his children are called sultanas, and not allowed to do any more work. They have a separate suite of apartments, a retinue of servants, besides carriages and horses, and each hopes some day to be the mother of the future Sultan, and therefore the most prominent woman in Turkey. The sultanas may not sit at table with their own children, on account of their having been slaves, while the children are princes and princesses in right of their father."

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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