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    THE BLACK RUSSIAN Is Coming to Turkey

     

     

     

    I’m very pleased that Frederick Thomas’s remarkable life will become known to Turkish readers in a translation to be brought out late next year by the publisher Kültür Yayınları in Istanbul.  One of the things I hope will happen as a result is that people who have photographs, family recollections, or other memorabilia pertaining to Frederick’s life in Constantinople from 1919 to 1928 will read the book and be moved to contact me. 

    This is what already happened during the past six months with distant descendants of Frederick who emailed me from such far-flung places as Luxembourg, Australia, Geneva, and Dubai to tell me what a revelation my book was for them because they knew hardly anything about Frederick. 

    Even more fascinating is that two people in Moscow—a descendant of one of Frederick’s Russian business partners in 1911, and a distant relative of a daughter Frederick had (the result of an affair about which I did not know!)—sent me remarkable photographs they had of him that had been preserved in their families for over a century and that were new to me.  (I’ve been told even more are coming.)  I hope to post about this later, once I’ve secured permission to share the information, especially the photographs and the story of the affair (about which very little is actually known, although there are photographs of the woman and her daughter).  If possible, I’d like to include several of these wonderful new photographs in the Turkish and Russian translations of my book (the latter should be out in a year as well).

    Family memories fade quickly, and are often largely gone by the third or fourth generation. So, dear readers, write down what you know, keep old photos in a safe place, and pass everything on to younger generations so that future biographers will have this invaluable information when they need it.

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