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Ali Pasha, Lion of Ioannina (Hardback)

The Remarkable Life of the Balkan Napoleon

Military > Pre-WWI > Napoleonic

By Dr Eugenia Russell, Dr Quentin Russell
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 206
Illustrations: 8
ISBN: 9781473877207
Published: 12th February 2018



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At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the life of a petty tyrant in an obscure corner of the Ottoman Empire became the stuff of legend. What propelled this cold-blooded archetype of Oriental despotism, grandly known as the Lion of Ioannina and the Balkan Napoleon, into the consciousness of Western rulers and the general public? This book charts the rise of Ali Pasha from brigand leader to a player in world affairs and, ultimately, to a gruesome end. Ali exploited the internal weakness of the Ottoman Empire to carve out his own de facto state in Albania and Western Greece. Although a ruthless tyrant guilty of cruel atrocities, his lavish court became an attraction to Western travellers, most famously Lord Byron, and his military prowess led Britain, Russia and France to seek his alliance during the Napoleonic Wars. His activities undermined the Sultan’s authority and helped bring about the Greek War of Independence. Quentin and Eugenia Russell describe his remarkable life and military career as well as the enigmatic legacy he bequeathed in his homeland both as a nationalist hero and a tyrant, and further afield as inspiration for writers and artists of the Romantic movement.

Listed in 'Book Life' feature

Hertfordshire Life, March 2019

As listed in the 'best of this month's Hertfordshire-linked books and book news' feature

Hertfordshire Life, June 2018

With superb production standards, this is an intriguing tale from the edges of the Empire.

The Armourer, May 2018

As featured 'on the shelf' in

Wargames Illustrated, November 2017

About Dr Eugenia Russell

Dr Eugenia Russell is an author and Lecturer in History at St Marys University, Twickenham. She has lectured on the history of empires, Renaissance learning and exploration, the Ancient World, art history and political philosophy. 

About Dr Quentin Russell

Dr Quentin Russell is a historian, writer and producer. He holds a PhD in 19th century Anglo-Greek relations. He was part of the writing and production team on Exposure: the Musical (2016) and his TV documentary, An Exile in Paradise: The Adventures of Edward Lear in Greece and Albania, which was broadcast internationally, won the New York Festival’s Arts Silver Medal in 2009. His previous publications include Ali Pasha, Lion of Ioannina: the Remarkable Life of the Balkan Napoleon (2017) for Pen and Sword and an essay on Lear’s travels as a painter of the Balkans (1848-9) in the prestigious British Art Journal.

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