John Freely was born in New York and joined the US Navy at the age of seventeen, serving with a commando unit in Burma and China during the last years of World War II. He has lived in New York, Boston, London, Athens and Istanbul and has written over forty travel books and guides, most of them about Greece and Turkey. He is author of The Cyclades, The Ionian Islands (both I.B.Tauris), Crete, The Western Shores of Turkey, Strolling through Athens, Strolling through Venice (all Tauris Parke Paperbacks) and the bestselling Strolling Through Istanbul. He is also the author of Istanbul: The Imperial City, published by Penguin and Jem Sultan: The Adventures of a Captive Turkish Prince in Renaisance Europe, Harpercollins.
"'A timely and well-written work of popular history, Freely's book provides a crucial piece in the history of a very exciting time, telling a fabulous story which is not accessible elsewhere.' Victoria Rowe Holbrook"