Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, May 12, 2008

MOROCCO’S HISTORY- THE BAHIA PALACE

Who wouldn’t want to stay in an exotic, sumptuous palace for a few days? Well Jade, for one, since she was essentially confined to one in her 1920 adventure (The Serpent’s Daughter). Jade wasn’t the first woman to be a prisoner in the Bahia Palace, for as lovely as the harem quarter was, it was still a prison of sorts where the wives and the concubines lived out there entire lives, never leaving.

As buildings go in Marrakech, Bahia Palace is relatively new. It was constructed in the late 1800’s by the Grand Vizier Ba Ahmed Ben Moussa and was the residence of his four wives, twenty-four concubines, and a very large retinue of children.

Each wife had her own room and her own courtyard, open to the sky and light. Quiet, serene, beautiful; it must have been terribly lonely. The concubines’ rooms were scattered around the outside of another courtyard (see above photo), so they at least had each other to converse with.

Then there was ‘the favorite’s’ apartment. Edith Wharton (In Morocco, 1920) stayed in this apartment in 1917 at the invitation of the French Resident General Lyautey. She described it as a “lovely prison from which all sight and sound of the outer world are excluded.” The doors are particularly ornate here and one gave me the idea for the prison room of Jade’s mother. (see above photo.)


Twenty-five foot high walls support colored glass, letting jeweled light into a paved courtyard where trickling fountains break the silence. Only indirect sunlight reaches this area. The apartment was, consequently, always cool and comfortable even in the heat of summer.


But I suspect that ‘the favorite,’ like Jade, would have gladly traded the coolness for a moment of freedom in the sun.



NEXT WEEK: THE FRENCH QUARTER OF MARRAKECH

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1 Comments:

Blogger La Belle Americaine said...

Looking at these pictures brings the scenes from the book back to my mind!

Sat May 17, 07:24:00 AM CDT  

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