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Young ladies in the Victorian and Edwardian eras were not expected to travel unaccompanied, and certainly not to the remote corners of Southeast Europe, then part of the crumbling Ottoman Empire. But Edith Durham was no ordinary lady. In 1900, at the age of 37, Durham set sail for the Balkans for the first time, a trip which changed the course of her life. Her experiences kindled a profound love of the region which saw her return frequently in the following decades. She became a confidante of the King of Montenegro, ran a hospital in Macedonia and, following the outbreak of the First Balkan War in 1912, became one of the world's first female war correspondents. Her popularity in the region earned her the affectionate title 'Queen of the Mountains' and she is fondly remembered in Albania until this day. Marcus Tanner here tells the fascinating story of Durham's relationship with the Balkans, painting a vivid portrait of a remarkable, if sometimes formidable, woman.
Northern Albania and Montenegro are the only regions in Europe to have retained a true tribal society up to the mid-twentieth century. This book provides the first scholarly investigation of this tribal society, a pioneer work that offers a detailed survey of all the major Albanian-speaking tribes in Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo. Robert Elsie provides comprehensive material on the 69 different tribes, including data on their locations, religious affiliations, tribal structures and relations, population statistics, tribal folklore, legends and history. Also included are excerpts from the works of prominent nineteenth and early-twentieth century writers, such as Edith Durham and Johann Georg von Hahn, who travelled through the tribal regions, as well as short biographies on prominent figures linked to the tribes. As the first book of its kind, The Tribes of Albania will be of interest to scholars and students of the Balkans, of southeastern European anthropology, ethnography and history.
Where nostalgia was once dismissed a wistful dream of a never-never land, the academic focus has shifted to how pieces of the past are assembled as the elements in alternative political thinking as well as in artistic expression. The creative use of the past points to the complexities of the conceptualization of nostalgia, while entering areas where the humanities meet the art world and commerce. This collection of essays shows how this bond is politically and socially visible on different levels, from states to local communities, along with creative developments in art, literature and religious practice. Bringing together scholars from a range of disciplines, the book offers analyses from diverse theoretical perspectives, united by an interest in the political and cultural representations of the past in South-East Europe from a long-term perspective. By emphasising how the relationship between loss and creative inspiration are intertwined in cultural production and history writing, these essays cover themes across South-East Europe and provide an insight into how specific agents – intellectuals, politicians, artists – have represented the past and have looked towards the future.
This book explores the historial role of the Balkan Wars. In Eastern Europe, the two Balkan Wars of 1912/13 had greater importance than the First World War for the construction of nations and states. This volume shows how these “short” wars profoundly changed the sociopolitical situation in the Balkans, with consequences that are still felt today. More than one hundred years later, the successors of the belligerent states in Southeastern Europe memorialize the wars as heroic highlights of their respective pasts. Furthermore, the metaphor that the Balkans were Europe’s “powder keg”, perpetuated at the beginning of the twentieth century in the face of these wars, was reactivated in both the West and the East up through the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. The authors entangle the hitherto exclusive national master narratives and analyse them cogently and trenchantly for an international readership. They make an indispensable contribution to the proper integration of the Balkan Wars into the European historical memory of twentieth-century warfare.

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