About me

Anna Buxton

I was born and grew up in the town of Burgas, the only child of an accountant and an English teacher.

On my father’s side, I come from Bulgarian stock – my great/great grandfather was Vulchan Voyvoda – a famous brigand, about whose exploits against the Turks many legends have been told and many folk songs sung.Treasure seekers are to this day going around his favourite haunts in the Bulgarian mountains, seeking his fabled phenomenal buried treasure. It suffices to say that when Vulchan died at a very ripe old age, he left all his money and possibly buried treasure to his daughter and her family and disinherited his son – my great great/grandfather, with whom he had quarreled previously. During my youth, I learned from my father and his relatives a great deal about the migration of the family from southern Thrace to a village near Pomorie, called Bata.



This is a book about the Bulgarian Princess Tamara Maria, who in the 14 century becomes the consort of the Ottoman Sultan Murad I, the effective conqueror of the larger part of the Balkan peninsular.
Anna Ivanova Buxton offers the reader a detailed and exceptionally well-researched narrative, incorporating a vast number of stories and characters from both the Eastern and the Western medieval worlds.


This is an enlarged and revised second edition of the book. It is NOT a novel, but a documentary history. For over seven centuries painters and writers have been fascinated by the non-Christian otherness of the Ottoman Empire and in particular its most notorious institution, the harem. In her carefully researched book, Anna Buxton cuts through the stereotypes and reveals how in an Empire, easily characterized as patriarchal, former Christian women came to exert significant power in day to day government.


This is a book about Bulgarian life and politics in the Middle Ages. In it, Anna Ivanova Buxton looks at the history of the Second Bulgarian kingdom and searches for the reasons of its demise. She discusses weak central control and dominant boyars, resulting in partitioning the kingdom in the 14th century. She evaluates the effect of the factions, created around children of former foreign royal spouses, which would deepen the divisions.

The reader will assess the effect of the increased separation of Church from State, which led to the loss of its unique leadership role with the population, at the time of the Ottoman invasion.

In a mountainous region of continuously shifting borders, questions of national identity always require complex answers. As each nation celebrates its heroes, the fact, that these heroes would quickly change allegiance, according to changing circumstances is often ignored.

With their folk songs and tales, the Bulgarian nation kept their identity, remembered their history, their heroes, their kings and queens, the battles and the suffering. It was folklore and the development of trade, which led to the preservation of the Bulgarian nationality and eventually helped the re-creation of the new Bulgarian State.

The Bulgarian writer Alec Popov says “We live in several versions of history”. This book offers a new thoroughly researched insight into a very controversial period of Bulgarian history.



Тази книга е за тези европейки, издигнали се в конкурентната система на харема до значителна власт над Османската Империя. Някои от тях са я управлявали не само по времето на съпрузите си, но и през периодите, когато синовете и внуците им са били на власт. Тази книга предлага подробни и добре-изследвани исторически биографични очерци за тези султанки, които са успели да окажат огромно влияние върху световете на изтока и запада, с глави, посветени на тях и ограниченията, в който са живели.

По-дълбокият поглед върху ролята на султанките като съпруги и Кралици–Майки (Валиде Султанки) на Османската Империя, представлява навременно предизвикателство на стереотипното представяне на харема като патриархално общество. От мъжка гледна точка, харемът осигурявал постоянно обогатяване на гените на династията и предотвратявал въздигането на аристократична класа. В него, жени с най-различно минало и потекло са се борели за благоволението на султана и тази борба при раждането на синове, често се превръщала в „победителя печели всичко“. Но харемът се оказва изключително отворено общество. Различните султанки използвали жени-посреднички за да поддържат важни комуникационни линии отворени – не само с правителствата на своите родини, но често и с други значителни европейски царства. С увеличаването на територията на империята, се увеличили и финансовите възможности на султанките. Няколко от тях присъствали на сесиите на Дивана (заседанието на султана с министрите си), където тяхната дума често тежала повече, от тази на султана.

Книгата ще представлява интерес за всички, които искат да научат повече за съдбите на най-известните султанки, както и за периода от време, през което те са живели.


I have just completed my project, based on magical Bulgarian Tales. I am retelling about 20 of them in English and researching their past, provenance, origins and how and where variants of them could be found. I have to conclude, that many of them are exceptionally old, and some – absolutely unique – without an equivalent in the fairy tale history of the world. My theory is, that they have been brought over by the Proto-Bulgarians on their way from the east to the Balkans, as they carry elements of both the places they started from and those the passed by and lived with some time. There will be examples of this work on my site as soon as possible. I am looking for publishers in the English-speaking world.